The Body Shop parent InNature to focus on Natura following Malaysia float

By Richard Whitehead

- Last updated on GMT

 InNature will turn its attention to promoting the Natura range of Amazonian cosmetics in Malaysia. ©The Body Shop
InNature will turn its attention to promoting the Natura range of Amazonian cosmetics in Malaysia. ©The Body Shop

Related tags: The body shop, SEA

The company behind The Body Shop in three South East Asian markets is expecting to raise over MYR120m (US$30m) from an upcoming IPO on Kuala Lumpur's stock exchange.

Following the listing, InNature will turn its attention to promoting the Natura range of Amazonian cosmetics in Malaysia.

With franchise rights for The Body Shop retail and distribution in Malaysia, Vietnam and Cambodia, the investment holding company will also use the capital injection to expand further in these countries.

InNature says it is well-positioned to increase its market share in Malaysia, which currently stands at 11%. It also intends to increase its store count in Vietnam and make further inroads into Cambodia.

It has set aside RM14.5m of IPO proceeds to open up to 29 new The Body Shop points of sale in the three countries over the next three years, starting with an immediate push after the listing.

The Subang Jaya outfit has set its IPO price at 68 sen (US$0.17) per share and is hoping to raise RM120.5 million from the listing.

Managing director Mina Cheah-Foong opened the first The Body Shop store in 1984 in Kuala Lumpur, and now has 89 points of sale in Malaysia and 124 across its three Southeast Asian countries.

We are looking to open one to two stores in Malaysia next year, six stores in Vietnam and two more stores in Cambodia​,” Cheah-Foong said at the launch of InNature’s IPO prospectus.

In collaboration with The Body Shop parent, Natura Cosméticos, InNature introduced the Natura brand in Malaysia recently. It is now working on a lasting agreement that will see it continue to sell Natura following its listing on the Bursa Malaysia Main Market on February 20.

Flush with funding following the float, it aims to open two Natura stores this year that will act as showrooms for the Brazilian brand’s products under a digital business model which focuses on social commerce and direct C2C selling.

How the Natura deal progresses following the listing will be particularly interesting, in light of its novel business model.

"We will be relying more on social commerce, direct customer-to-customer selling, as we believe that word-of-mouth is a good form of marketing​," Cheah-Foong said.

The sales will be done through an app, people interested in earning a side-income can apply to be social sellers who are paid a commission on their sales.

"It's like direct selling 2.0. It is a unique way to market to consumers. Traditional advertising still works but we think that the best form of marketing is through word-of-mouth​," she said.

InNature has set aside RM7.2m from the IPO proceeds as capital expenditure to develop Natura in the market.

We will be adopting an omnichannel strategy heavily focused on Natura’s business model of social commerce and e-commerce, which will be supported by a digital platform as well as physical stores for showrooming and raising awareness through customer experience​,” the Malaysian company said in its prospectus.

This will be a major point of differentiation for the introduction of this new brand into the beauty industry in Malaysia, and we believe this venture will further cement our market share and leadership in the ‘naturals’ segment​.”

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