The Body Shop Opens Flagship Store at Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre [Interview/Photos]

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Retailer The Body Shop has opened its new Changemaker’s Workshop flagship store at the Yorkdale Shopping Centre in Toronto.

It’s a continuation of the brand’s nationwide expansion of the concept.

“Our new Workshop locations are proving to be something very special,” said Hilary Lloyd, VP of Brand & Corporate Social Responsibility, The Body Shop North America. 

Hilary Lloyd

“If activism is the soul of our brand, our retail locations are the heart. This is why we put so much effort into our Chagemaker’s Workshop stores. Our goal was to create a physical space that people truly want to be a part of. Whether learning about our incredible products and testing them through our sink experiences, or engaging in Changemaking through our Act station, a space dedicated to petition signing and advocacy, the Workshop retail experience is different, and people are noticing.

“We like to think of it as a Workshop store. It has an entirely new exterior and interior. The experiences we are providing in the new concept store are also quite a bit elevated.”

The Body Shop Yorkdale

Sustainability is a core value for the retailer and it’s reflected in the new concept store.

This is The Body Shop’s sixth Changemaker’s Workshop location in Canada. Other locations are in Vancouver, Oshawa, Calgary, Burnaby, and Edmonton. There are five more stores set to open this year.

“We have an ambitious renovation calendar underway,” explained Lloyd. 

“At the moment, all of our stores are renovations.”

The Body Shop Yorkdale

The company has 110 locations in Canada with the first store opening in 1980.

“We’re really excited about this new The Body Shop store opening for Toronto and for Canada,” said Lloyd. “The exclusive campaign elements nod to the past as the brand looks to the future and a continued legacy of positively impacting the Toronto community through our products, experiences and advocacy.

“With the store penetration that we have now at 110 stores in top tier malls across the country, we don’t necessarily feel we need to expand our shop footprint. So what we’re really focusing on addressing is elevating the experiences in our existing stores and really investing in those.”

Lloyd said the new concept is designed to give customers an immersive, sensorial product experience, as well as empower Canadians to channel their inner activist – inviting them to participate in social and environmental causes that are important to them and their community. To date, these new concept stores are welcoming higher traffic and sales compared to traditional stores, she said. 

William Correia

“Shoppers come to Yorkdale from across the country, and even around the world, seeking engaging retail experiences,” said William Correia, Director, Yorkdale Shopping Centre. “We are thrilled to welcome The Body Shop Canada’s flagship store to our vibrant Yorkdale community. The Body Shop’s new Changemaker’s Workshop delivers on customer desires and expectations for innovative ways to interact with brands. This is an immersive retail environment that will inspire a new generation of conscious consumers.”

The Body Shop at Yorkdale Shopping Centre

Lloyd said the retailer shifted from a previous location in Yorkdale to its new site which is larger. 

“The new store in keeping with our values is designed to be a community hub. A space for advocacy, a space for gathering people. Almost like a platforming space for communities and the Toronto community at large,” she said.

“It’s an amazing space full of great opportunities for our customers to fall in love with our products, to fall in love with our brand advocacy and hang with our folks who would love to tell them how great The Body Shop is.”

The Body Shop said a key feature for each Canadian Workshop store is that they reflect the local communities they serve and each store is unique with a variety of local artists designing in-store murals, installations and/or sculptures.

“In the Yorkdale location, The Body Shop is proud to present a custom piece of textile art by multidisciplinary Toronto-based artist, Laura Moore. The piece, a handmade memory quilt, was inspired by the brand’s 40+ years of activism work in Canada, made with The Body Shop materials sourced across the brand’s Canadian employee collective as well as from the previous Yorkdale store. The Body Shop has a long history of using textiles as tools for change, upcycled tote bags, aprons, t-shirts, scarves – all designed to communicate our Canadian activism efforts over the years. With the textiles stitched together to shape a map of Toronto, the quilt represents the power of community, and The Body Shop’s long history of changemaking in Canada,” said the company.

“Also unique to the Yorkdale store, is a nostalgic reminder for Torontonians of all of the things they once loved – and continue to love – about the rejuvenated The Body Shop brand and store concept. The flagship opening features exclusive and limited edition throwback t-shirts – newly made as well as vintage-sourced – as an homage to the long and beloved history of the brand in Canada. All proceeds from the t-shirt sales will benefit The Body Shop Changemakers Youth Fund which directly supports young activists in Toronto through the brand’s partner, Apathy is Boring’s RISE program.The store will also feature limited edition ‘greatest hits’ pouches, containing Torontonians most loved products of the past and present – Satsuma Body Butter, Hemp Hand Cream, and Vitamin E moisturizer.”

The Body Shop Yorkdale
The Body Shop Yorkdale

Key features of the new concept include:

●  A central sink area where customers can smell, lather and test The Body Shop’s best-loved products;

●  A gifting station for people to personalize gifts with ribbons and recyclable paper.

●  A dedicated ACT area that gives customers the chance to learn about and engage with issues that impact their communities.

●  A refill station where customers can take The Body Shop’s 300ml aluminum bottle and fill it up with any 12 of the brand’s best-loved shower gels, shampoos, conditioners and hand washes.

●  Sustainable countertops that are created from recycled plastic destined for landfill.

●  A range of upcycled and reclaimed materials such as reclaimed wood and part-recycled plastic storage crates.

The Body Shop Yorkdale

Meanwhile, recently the federal government announced its commitment to prohibit cosmetic animal testing in Canada. The measures, which were finalized through the 2023 Budget Implementation Act on June 22, 2023, will also prohibit the sale of cosmetics that rely on new animal testing data to establish product safety as well as false or misleading labelling pertaining to cosmetic animal testing.

“The Body Shop is the first international beauty brand to campaign against animal testing in cosmetics and along with Cruelty Free International and other advocacy groups, recognizes this as a historic win for animal rights activists and beauty lovers alike,” said the company. 

Founded in 1976 in Brighton, England, by Dame Anita Roddick, The Body Shop is a global beauty brand and a certified B CorpTM. It operates about 3,000 retail locations in more than 70 countries. 

Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He is the Senior News Editor with Retail Insider in addition to working as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training. Mario was named as a RETHINK Retail Top Retail Expert in 2024.

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