To call The Body Shop a mere skin and body care store is to miss half of what makes it special. Late founder Dame Anita Roddick was a pioneer for ethical business practices; upon opening her first store in Brighton, England, in 1976, she developed company values such as "Defend Human Rights" and "Protect The Planet." She somehow balanced principles and profit, partnering in global campaigns with UNICEF, Greenpeace, Amnesty International, and the United Nations, all while ultimately expanding her brand into 2,500 locations in over 60 international markets. After her death in 2007, then-British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said, “She campaigned for green issues for many years before it became fashionable to do so and inspired millions to the cause by bringing sustainable products to a mass market. . . . She was an inspiration.”
Indeed, the Body Shop exhibits an eco-friendliness and social consciousness that's hard to come by in a company of its size. Its products have been fair-trade since 1987, and its Against Animal Testing movement led to an EU-wide ban of animal testing of cosmetics. The products are made from ingredients harvested from around the world: shea butter from Ghana goes into body scrubs and butters, and Indian artisans craft wooden massagers and tote bags that are screenprinted by hand. But all that isn't to say the company's production practices overshadow its final products. Skincare treatments such as the brand’s iconic body butters, facial products, and gift collections often appear in Allure, Marie Claire, Lucky, Seventeen and other national publications.
Wild Angels Clothing Company collects a fun, eclectic mix of casual tops, summer dresses, and flashy accessories to enhance shoppers' wardrobes. Guests can step out for a night on the town with colorful printed tees and tanks, accentuate outfits with jewelry and snapback hats, or make eye-catching entrances at parties with glittery masquerade masks.
A membership-only retail warehouse with over 600 locations across the country, Sam's Club is able to offer substantial discounts on an array of brand-name products. Sam's Club members often find something surprising in club?with values on anything from designer jewelry to USDA grade A meats to fresh produce. The incredible savings carry through all departments, as a trip through a typical Sam's Club reveals home decor, electronics, and pet supplies. In other aisles, associates hand out samples of featured food items. In-club pharmacies and optical centers fill discounted medications and fit members with eyewear, while a tire and battery center also boasts members-only discounts. Sam's Club gas stations offer fuel savings, and the club's MasterCard has no annual fee and members can earn $300 a year just for filling up.*
Brewing their own line of beans and building sandwiches and salads behind the bar, the staff of Jammin Java relieves coffee cravings as well as hunger pangs. The espresso machine whirs to life as baristas steam milk to create lattes, cappuccinos, and puffy foam clouds shaped like manatees. Stop by in the morning for pastries. In the afternoons and evenings, you can munch on sandwiches stuffed with roast beef, hickory turkey, and fresh, crispy veggies.
For more than 60 years, Toys“R”Us has been helping kids be kids and grown-ups to revisit their childhoods by providing one of the largest selections of top-brand toys, electronics, games and everyday baby essentials. Founder, Charles Lazarus, revolutionized the toy business by modeling his stores after supermarkets, providing a variety of options to suit varying ages and interests and offering customers to help themselves and have fun in the process. Today, that sense of playfulness is evident at nearly 600 stores in the United States alone, including a flagship location in Times Square where kids are greeted by a 60-foot Ferris wheel, a 5-ton animatronic T-Rex, and a life-sized, 4,000-square-foot Barbie house.
Beyond everybody's favorite bikes, trains and video games, each Toys“R”Us store keeps its shelves stocked with the season’s must-have toys as well as nostalgic standbys that never go out of style. Time-tested brands such as LEGO, Radio Flyer, NERF and Fisher-Price share the shelves with an expansive selection of electronics for older kids, including Wii U and tablets. And though the company has inspired generations of boys and girls to try their hardest not to grow up, it also strives to ensure budding brains develop right on track by devoting a significant portion of its stores to “smart-play” with a wide selection of electronic learning toys and software.
Toys“R”Us—whose extended family of brands includes Babies“R”Us and FAO Schwarz—has earned a number of awards and recognitions through the years, including a spot on Fortune’s list of the World’s Most Admired Companies in 2012. The company has also drawn considerable recognition for its expansive charitable efforts, which include partnerships with the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation and Save the Children. This year also marks the tenth consecutive year that the company has partnered with the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation to collect new, unwrapped toys and monetary donations in its stores to benefit the organization.