Anita Roddick: The Shop
Anita Roddick: The Shop
Roddick is the owner of The Shop. She started this cosmetic line with the aim of getting income to raise her two children. She also wanted to provide cosmetics with good care for the skin. Before starting the cosmetic business, she owned a restaurant and hotel together with her husband. Gordon had to leave for South America for ten months and Roddick had to raise the children alone. This was the main reason of why she came up with the idea of cosmetics business. Another contributing factor was the restaurant business of overworking the couple. They felt they needed another occupation. With the help of the hotel, she got collateral and financed her business (Paprocki, 2010).
The spirit of entrepreneurship is likely to have been inspired by her mother. When Anita’s family settle in England, her mother owned a cafe and she used to recycle all possible materials. When Roddick opened her first shop, it became successful and by the six month, she opened another one. She had just started with fifteen products and the business did well. Her husband returned and they managed the business jointly. Customers of these products liked them and wanted to sell them as well. This led Roddick to have a franchise system. In the year 1991, The Shop had seven hundred branches and it made her get an award from World Vision. She was awarded for her initiative in development.
Roddick faced some challenges as she was starting her business. She never had adequate facilities to produce her products. In fact, she used any relevant materials in her garage. First several months of operation, she had to use few bottles and recycle them (Roddick, 1991). The location of the shop always raised controversies because it was in the middle of two funeral parlors. This was overcome by the marketing strategies of Roddick’s shop. She made sure scents were coming from the shop and gave it a unique and attractive name.
The greatest challenge it faced was the big controversy about its origin of The Shop. Jon Entine wrote that Anita copied the idea of cosmetic shop from San Francisco. She copied the name and concept a body shop, which already existed in this city. He continues to claim that original brochures from Roddick were identical to those of the body shop in San Francisco. When Roddick was opening branches in USA, she bought the rights of body shop in San Francisco in return for their silence. Today, that body shop has a different name and it is still doing well in the market (Roddick, 1991).
Other challenges were faced when the company was being purchased to L’Oreal. This company contradicted the principles of The Shop Company. Roddick’s company was based on principles of ethics like not doing animal testing. L’Oreal used animal testing and it seemed not to be a concern to Roddick. The purchasing company was partly owned by Nestle Company, which had questionable methods of production in third world countries. She cleared this doubts by saying she intended to be part of decision makers in these companies. It was possible to influence their decisions.
Roddick’s style of leader is participative. She allowed other stakeholders to be part of making decisions in her company (Giullian & Kurson, 2002). For instance, the franchising system was her response to customers who wanted to sell the products. Her company used principles, which cared for the environment. The welfare of the community was great concern to her. She saw her business as a good tool to support local and global community. She sat down with other members of management in meetings and exchanged ideas. Another good example of participative leadership is her business relationship with her husband. When he returned from his trek, he joined her in business. The company continued to grow because they worked hand in hand.
Good leadership needs humility and a sociable leader. Roddick visited the factory floor and interacted with her employees. She also visited the stores and socialized with customers. In fact, she offered consultation services and advise to her customers. She inspired her employees and they helped the company to be successful. They also developed a culture of social responsibility and assisted Roddick in her community development activities. She sets a good example of determination to all people. She started the company with determination of raising her children and it is because one of the best in the world (Giullian & Kurson, 2002).
Roddick had adopted a culture of being different. She had traveled to many parts of the world. This enabled her to learn about different cultures in the world. It enabled her understand and easily adapt the culture in her current environment. The Shop is a multinational corporation. Roddick’s management penetrated effectively in the global markets. In the beginning, she used franchising method. She successfully managed these markets by having many branches. She expanded her business in United States as a strategy of reaching more markets and managing them. Another effective way she used was letting the company be a subsidiary of L’Oreal.
Roddick used participative theory of leadership. It entails involving others to contribute in managing the business or group. The leader takes into considerations the thoughts of other stakeholders when decisions are made (Northouse, 2007). The Shop Company has grown because of implementation of this theory. It is not possible to manage a multinational corporation alone. This is why the company had a board of governors, who were the major decision makers in the corporation. The stores were managed by different people who were given authority to make daily decisions, which were minor.
The corporation is a member of stock exchange market. This means it has shareholders who own different types of shares. Shareholders are part of decision makers in a company. Roddick used the method of management by walking around. She did not just sit in her office and order her employees. For instance, she went to the site of production and talked to the manufacturers and all other employees. She attended meetings and participated in the discussions. She also made sure to communicate any controversial issues to the media. It was a strategy of maintaining good corporate image.
Roddick used some of the best ways to motivate her employees. She set a mission statement, which gave her employees the drive and scene of direction for the company. Roddick always took time to talk to her employees and inspire them. They were determined to work for the cause of the company and achieve success. She educated them and assisted them to broaden their thoughts. It made them achieve abilities they never had before. Her character and achievements were motivating factors too. Employees wished to be entrepreneurs after learning the skills from Roddick (Lauby, 2005).
The Shop Corporation has made a big difference in many aspects. First, she introduced natural cosmetics in the beauty industry. She said that she learnt about the ingredients from women who used them for rituals. She met these women as she traveled to different parts in the world. The natural cosmetics captured a big market share because a wide range of people could use them. Natural products are harmless since they do not have chemical formulas. This is why they became popular.
The products were based on natural products because Roddick strongly believed in environmental preservation and social responsibility. She engaged in a lot of charity work even in other foreign countries. In her early years, she saw photos of people living in concentration camps. She was concerned about the miserable life they lived. This triggered her interest and passion in helping the poor (Paprocki, 2010). She considered her business as a good instrument in helping the disadvantaged people. Roddick said that businesses are a good platform of helping and changing the society. She was against animal testing and this is why her products were from natural sources.
In 1990, she formed an organization for children and named it Children On The Edge. It helped destitute children from Romanian orphanages. She visited the orphanages and wanted to help those children. In 2005, she donated her fortune to charity. It was worth one hundred and five million dollars. There was another organization, which targeted to help children in Asia and Eastern Europe. Littlehampton was made a business and enterprise institution. The money used was contributed by Roddick. The management set up a building and named it after Roddick. After her death, her estate was given to charity (Roddick, 1991).
Roddick wrote books, which inspire people. For example, Take it personally is one of her books. It persuades people to be concerned about social responsibility and care for the environment. She addresses problems faced by employees in third world countries. This is meant to convince employers to be concerned about employee welfare. Another book is Business as unusual. It talks about being different when doing business. Uniqueness was one of her conspicuous traits and she wanted to inspire others on the same. Due to her legacy, her husband started an organization in her memory. He named it thirty-eight degrees. It focused on improving social, environmental and political aspects. Anita Roddick led an exemplary life, which had positive influence to people globally (Roddick, 2010).
Giullian. A. Kurson, P. (2002). Leadership. New York : Hyperion.
Lauby, S. J. (2005). Motivating employees. Alexandria, Va: ASTD Press.
Northouse, P. G. (2007). Leadership: Theory and practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publishers.
Paprocki, S. B. (2010). Anita Roddick. New York: Infobase Pub.
Roddick, A. (1991). Body and soul: Profits with principles, the amazing success story of Anita Roddick & the Body Shop. New York: Crown.
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