- Bath & Body Works plans to add a fabric care line to its product assortment this fall, the retailer announced on Monday. The move into the laundry products sector follows recent announcements that Bath & Body Works is expanding its men’s product and hair care assortment.
- Through May 29, members of the My Bath & Body Works loyalty program can cast their votes for their favorite fragrance across 14 Bath & Body Works-exclusive scents coming to the fabric care category later this year.
- The retailer’s advance into new sectors comes as consumer demand for cleansers, personal care products and candles softened since the early part of the pandemic. Bath & Body Works reported an earnings slide last week, with Q1 sales down 3.7% to $1.4 billion.
Bath & Body Works said its entry into the laundry sector is in response to customer requests.
“Knowing our customers love to experience their favorite fragrances in a multitude of ways, we’re looking forward to leveraging our core strengths and competitive advantage in fragrance and innovation to expand into this brand-new category,” Bath & Body Works President Julie Rosen said in an announcement.
The retailer said its research found that 77% of shoppers like compliments about the scent they wear. So the company said it’s “seizing the opportunity to reinvent the laundry category and give consumers a way to bring their favorite fragrances to yet another part of their lives.”
From now through May 29, members of the My Bath & Body Works loyalty program can vote for which of 14 fragrances will be offered when the retailer’s fabric care products debut later this year. The top five fragrances as chosen by votes from loyalty program participants through the app will be offered in an early access, members-only shopping event ahead of the collection’s full launch this fall.
"We’re tapping our most loyal customers to tell us which fragrances they want to shop first because we want to help create a deeper personal connection to the fragrances they love,” said Jamie Sohosky, Bath & Body Works’ chief marketing officer. Bath & Body Works said its loyalty program, which launched less than a year ago, accounts for two-thirds of its sales.
Pandemic-driven concerns about healthy, germ-free living resulted in a constant rise in per capita spending on household cleaning supplies, particularly laundry detergents, according to a report from Grand View Research. The report valued the global laundry care market at nearly $97 billion in 2021. And the sector is expected to grow through 2028. “Rising investment by market players to launch new organic and eco-friendly products is further expected to have a profound impact on the global market over the forecast period,” the report says.
Bath & Body Works also has an opportunity to potentially steal some market share from rivals like The Laundress. That direct-to-consumer retailer announced a recall for 800,000 units of fabric conditioner in April.
The Laundress urged consumers to stop using the recalled products and offered a reimbursements.