From Gingham, to Greatness: Bath & Body Works Leads the Pack in the Beauty and Home Fragrance Markets after Almost Three Decades
PARSIPPANY, NJ, May 29, 2019 – Boasting more than 1,600 doors, mostly in malls and with average square footage at least double the size of most of its competitors, Bath & Body Works posts impressive gains of 7% and 13% in the beauty and home fragrance markets, respectively, in 2018, according to Kline’s two imminent reports, Cosmetics & Toiletries USA and Home Fragrances USA. The brand places third in the beauty business behind Dove and L’Oréal Paris and holds the leading position in the home fragrances market.
What’s the secret sauce? A blend of many factors, including the product as well as the distribution end of the business. Same-store sales show robust growth for the chain, while its e-commerce business continues to add fuel to the brick-and-mortar end and vice versa.
The brand’s formula for success has remained consistent through the years: Keep the consumer engaged and offer a great in-store experience, along with a steady flow of new, innovative products. Whether it’s a seasonal collection or core item, value is at the center of all the products the retailer offers.
A constant re-shuffling of the store layout and product displays evokes the feel of a new experience each time shoppers enter the store, even when the merchandise remains unchanged.
“Sticking with its core strength of fragrant home and body care has been at the heart of Bath & Body Works' success,” commented Carrie Mellage, Vice President of Consumer Products. “Over the years and driven by its engine for newness, its forays into other categories such as men's care, facial skin care, and hair care, along with strategies such as carrying third-party brands, have been met with varying and limited success. Yet with the brand’s core categories as its backbone, these initiatives have perhaps benefited Bath & Body Works by offering fresh and unexpected merchandise.”
Standouts for the brand over the years include its Antibacterial, Aromatherapy, and Wallflowers collections. Today, the brand’s offerings in the personal cleansing products category give it a prominent market share with luxury bath items, plus fun and whimsical products appealing to young and mature consumers alike. Its close connection to and understanding of its end consumers, coupled with its full control of the retail environment, helps it react quickly to changing consumer preferences. Bath & Body Works' newest fragrance collection, Gingham, is a nod to its "Main Street" heritage and its original gingham and barrels motif.
Bath & Body Works dominates the home fragrances market, especially in the candles and diffusers categories, which account for roughly one-third of its sales. The stalwart Wallflowers franchise now boasts seasonal items with a price tag approaching $30.00. Also offered by the brand is a pricey 3-wick candle in a wide variety of scents and designs priced at $24.50, a high price point for a specialty store brand.
“Cross-selling remains a strong point for Bath & Body Works, as a recent website promotion suggests a consumer can light her 3-wick, put on one of the brand’s new face masks, and drop a bath bomb in the tub for a relaxing experience,” says Karen Doskow, Director, Consumer Products Practice. “That’s the magic that keeps the brand going.”
Kline has tracked Bath & Body Works and other leading brands for decades in its Cosmetics & Toiletries USA and Home Fragrances USA annual services. These authoritative sources provide unparalleled insights on market size and growth, key drivers and trends, the competitive landscape, channel dynamics, challenges and opportunities, and a five-year outlook.
Kline is a worldwide consulting and research firm dedicated to providing the kind of insight and knowledge that helps companies find a clear path to success. The firm has served the management consulting and market research needs of organizations in the agrochemicals, chemicals, materials, energy, life sciences, and consumer products industries for 60 years. For more information, visit www.KlineGroup.com.