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.
Husband and wife duo, Jeremy and Diane Thomas, fold their 25 years of combined personal training experience into Fitness Partners Workout Center. Along with a cadre of trainers and instructors the team whips clients into peak physical shape, enlisting the help of specialized machinery and old-fashioned physiology. They sculpt cores with the aid of Pilates reformer machines and TRX suspension harnesses, and blast calories during indoor cycling sessions as students struggle up virtual hills or plunge sticks into the imaginary spokes of imaginary Lance Armstrongs. Mirrored classrooms help exercisers strike pitch-perfect poses or dance moves during yoga and Zumba classes. Although classes cap off at eight students, giving instructors ample face time with each guest, personal trainers kick the customization up one full notch with plans designed around specific goals, such as managing weight, building muscle, or living a healthier lifestyle.
Technicians wield scrolls of premium tints and Custom Tint’s three decades of expertise as they deflect heat and sunbeams from windowpanes. Armed with standard, high-performance, and ceramic tints from Global Window Films, staffers trim the UV-blocking film to fit individual windows in cars as well as homes and offices, preventing heat from rendering interiors uncomfortable or sunlight from fading treasured Bayeux Tapestries. Custom Tint bolsters its work with limited and lifetime warranties with national coverage.
A new baby can bring with it a bundle of new responsibilities, leaving parents anxious and in need of assistance. Thankfully, buybuy BABY’s expansive retail stores help preserve parental sanity with more than 20,000 products designed to ease the process of raising an infant or toddler. Online product guides and in-store registry specialists help parents sift through the wealth of strollers, highchairs, and other baby essentials from an encyclopedic list of brands.
Though buybuy BABY's stores can be as large as 60,000 square feet, parents feel like the center of attention thanks to private feeding rooms where they can freshen up their infants or test out new pacifiers without judgment. At the register, shoppers can present competitor pricing or coupons, which buybuy BABY honors as a commitment to keeping things affordable. Even after items have been wrapped in their signature pastel paper and shipped out, buybuy BABY looks out for families by faithfully reposting government recalls and accepting returns at all stores and online warehouses, even during naptime.
Since 1989, Play It Again Sports has been buying and selling new and used sports and exercise equipment. They are keeping sports green, recycling gently used athletic equipment into new-to-you gear. Products from brands such as Nike, Adidas, Easton, Wilson, Nautilus and Schwinn, make up each store's enormous selection of new and recycled gear, which is replenished daily with goods for a wide selection of sports that ranges from baseball, golf, soccer to lacrosse and football. Treadmills and exercise bikes equip bodies with muscular suits of armor, and pintsize and adolescent equipment arms youngsters with protective padding until they eat enough bologna to grow muscles of their own. Knowledgeable staffers man each location, ready to answer questions, arrange gear deliveries or pick-ups. To ensure their stock remains robust, they also encourage athletes to collect their lightly used gear—including bicycles—and bring it into a local store to either sell or trade.
Mattress World's owners bring 30 years of experience in the mattress industry to their five stores, which stock a wide variety of Serta, Simmons, and Tempur-Pedic sleeping surfaces. Once patrons choose their desired mattress or mattress set, clerks call patrons' attention to the more than 50 styles of headboards, frames, and bedding, which add height and style to plush, pillow-topped mattresses. The store offers delivery and set-up services, dispatching staffers—who first remove old frames and bedding without the use of dangerous black holes—to construct new beds on-site.