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11th January 2017

​The Body Shop opens new £1 million beauty lab in East Croydon

Ethical cosmetics firm, The Body Shop has built a £1 million “beauty innovation hub” in Croydon to help create more of its products in-house.

Some of The Body Shop’s most popular products will now be developed in Croydon, including a large range of body butters which come with a variety of scents including, strawberry, pink grapefruit and coconut.

Other customer favourites such as satsuma-scented shower creams, Fuji green tea body lotions, and a number of other skin and hair care products will also be reformulated in the lab.

Before the opening of the new 3,200 square foot “beauty hub” in Croydon The Body Shop development team was based in Littlehampton, West Sussex.

 The team hasn’t had a laboratory for around five years and outsourced a lot of its production to other companies.

The brand new lab has been established at the company’s new head office after The Body Shop relocated along with 200 employees from London Bridge to Knollys House, Cherry Orchard Road in Croydon.

The new lab, which comes complete with state-of-the-art equipment, has been designed to make the creation of new products easier and more efficient for the development and marketing teams involved.

The lab will also be testing and altering formulas for existing products in an attempt to make all Body Shop products as natural and sustainably sourced as possible.

The laboratory team will create new Body Shop products and reformulate existing ones

It takes, on average, around 14 months to get a product from the design phase to the shelves of The Body Shop’s 3,100 stores in 66 countries and the Croydon lab will play a key part in this process.

On a daily basis the laboratory at Knolly’s House will be staffed by nine people and the lab layout can be changed to suit various projects which are usually worked on individually.

Mr Watson said: “About 75% of it [their work] is individuals working on specific marketing groups to develop a very specific product.

“So they will spend their time researching the ingredients and effectively building a recipe that they go and physically make in the lab.

“25% of the time is collaborative working and spending time with the marketing team and the sustainable sourcing team and brainstorming ideas for the long-term projects.”

He added: “The fun side is the new product development so that’s coming up with brand new products and working to bring more and more customers into the Body Shop stores.”

Mr Watson who has been a part of the team that has been designing the lab is looking forward to starting on new product ranges and collaborating with other Body Shop departments.

He said: “We’ve got a fantastic new facility, we have some state-of-the-art equipment but we also now have the ability to work more closely with our marketing team who are literally across the road.

“We’ve already had examples of that where they pop across and spend half a day in the lab and develop something which would normally take three weeks of posting samples up and down. The collaborative working is the key thing that I’m most looking forward to.”

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