Bath & Body Works’ leap into the men’s grooming category has been showing great success. Over the past three years, Bath & Body Works has grown its men’s category, dubbed The Men’s Shop, by nearly 50 per cent, with a lineup that includes more than 200 grooming products across hair, beard, and skincare. Taking ‘The Men’s Shop’ on the road This month, the fragrance and self-care brand announced a new promotional campaign that will see professional a
ssional athletes promoting their favourite grooming products from Bath & Body Works’ wide array of options. Leading figures from the campaign include San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey, Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Zay Flowers, and Ohio State University’s star wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. Bath & Body Works will also be taking The Men’s Shop on the road, with a national tour scheduled to coincide with major sporting events in nine markets, and 14 tentpole stops with surprise mid-week stops planned along the route. The tour will showcase the brand’s fragrance and grooming products for men, with immersive pop-up experiences that will allow consumers to experience its products in real life, and opportunities to win coupons, full-size products, and attend meet-and-greets with local celebrity athletes at select events. As Maurice Cooper, Bath & Body Works’ chief customer officer, stated in a press release, “Bath & Body Works, is bringing our Men’s Shop to guys who have no idea that we’re in the men’s grooming game. It’s time to show them all we have to offer, because we know when they try it, they’ll love it.” Cooper noted that more men than ever are embracing self-care and said the brand, which operates more than1,800 company-operated Bath & Body Works locations in the US and Canada, is uniquely positioned to equip them with high-quality, affordable fragrances and grooming products. “We’re raising our game and elevating our brand to invite men everywhere to make the Men’s Shop their own,” he said. Bath & Body Works also has franchised locations around the world. Considering that the men’s grooming market is projected to be worth US$115 billion by 2028, a major increase since its valuation of US$80 billion in 2022, Bath & Body Works is tapping into the male grooming landscape at just the right time. While Bath & Body Works’ share price is down by more than 20 per cent so far this year, the company has increased its earnings per share outlook for FY23, from between US$2.70 and US$3.10 earnings per diluted share to between US$2.85 and US$3.15. This is compared to US$3.40 in 2022. Bath & Body Works is expected to report its Q3 results on November 16. The brand was previously part of the L Brands portfolio, alongside lingerie brand Victoria’s Secret. In 2021, L Brands spun off Victoria’s Secret into a stand-alone, publicly traded company, and changed its name to Bath & Body Works, Inc. How is Bath & Body Works set to fare in the future? As Neil Saunders, managing director and retail analyst at GlobalData, told Inside Retail, “The pandemic years set a high bar for Bath & Body Works. An influx of stimulus money combined with people staying home more, fueled demand for home fragrances and candles and, to a lesser extent, body care items. This level of demand was never completely sustainable and so it is unsurprising that some are now being unwound in the form of sales declines as consumer habits return to normal. That said, Bath & Body Works has significantly more shoppers and sales than before the pandemic, so it has held on to many of the gains.” Although Saunders warned that the shopping market is still less than ideal for a consumer product goods company such as this one. “The other issue for Bath & Body Works,” he elaborated, “is that more constrained shoppers have less to spend on personal indulgences and treats. While the vast majority of core shoppers have not abandoned Bath & Body Works, they are buying a bit less frequently or trimming the volume of product they buy to cut down on costs.” That being said, Saunders believes that Bath & Body Works’ moves into building its customer base by tapping into male shoppers and increasing its product range are all steps in the right direction. “The company is trying to take the edge off sales pressures by pushing into new product areas. This is a sensible strategy that also provides some long-term avenues of growth for Bath & Body Works which hedge against the fact the company is quite mature in the US and already has a high market share across the categories it operates in. “The expansion of the men’s range is sensible, and the initial response has been good, although it will take time to build up a bigger base of customers.” In addition to expanding its range of men’s grooming products, Bath & Body Works also introduced a laundry items line, including fabric care detergents, another move that Saunders noticed may work out for the company’s future profits. “Laundry care is another area of extension with new detergents in a range of signature scents. While Bath & Body Works is never going to take on giants like Procter & Gamble in this space, there is a niche market for detergents that focus on scent, as a retailer like Buff City Soap has proven. Bath & Body Works should be able to capitalise on this with its core customers,” Saunders explained.