Body and Soul – Anita Roddick

This is an immensely readable book, part autobiographical and part business methods; it tells of the start of the Body Shop and how it progressed to be a multinational corporation with a conscience. Mrs Roddick shows how she and her husband gained success while at the same time flouting the laws of business. They used the old-fashioned values of providing value for money, good products and a good shopping experience while at the same time being honest about their products and about their motives. Customer service although out of fashion now was considered by the Roddicks to be vitally important, as was inspiring employees and working to keep them happy and engaged. None of their policies are particularly on a par with the ins and outs of quantum physics, it’s basically all the common sense that doesn’t seem quite so common any more. And what’s more, the business world seemed to be shocked that it all worked. You do have to ask yourself, however, considering the illustrious beginning of the Body Shop, is it still sticking to its goals?

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