Bath & Body Works Highlights Innovation, Expansion

Bath & Body Works store

Bath & Body Works stores will feature an array of products packaged in a more environmentally friendly way, the company said in reporting its first-quarter earnings.

Interim CEO Sarah Nash told investors and analysts Thursday (May 19) that the company is using increased data analytics in an effort to “transform Bath and Body Works into a true omnichannel business,” capitalizing on fashion trends and newness in its packaging and products.

Bath & Body Works has released new fragrances and products every four to six weeks recently and expects to maintain that pace going forward, she said. The company is exploring expansion into new categories as well as growing the business into new geographies around the world, said Nash.

Shoppers will also start to see changes in how Bath & Body Works makes its products and packaging, including the elimination of carbons, sulfates and dyes, with 35% of its assortment to be reformatted by the end of the year, said Nash.

Bath & Body Works is also pushing for increased diversity on its board of directors, saying it will interview minorities and women for all vacancies in an effort to have the representation of groups beyond white men increased to at least 50%.

“Our business is very strong, our execution is excellent and our strategy of delivery is more relevant than ever,” said Nash in the first-quarter earnings call with investors and analysts Thursday. “We’re continuing to plan prudently and continuing to chase winners. There are some exceptional opportunities out there to capitalize on Bath & Body Works’ strengths and global capabilities.”

The men’s collection is considered a “strong growth driver” for Bath & Body Works, with an increasing product assortment planned in that segment of the business. On the flip side, the sanitizer category of the business was “down significantly” year over year.

BBW also boosted its estimates for spending on raw materials, transportation and wage rates, up from a range of $150 million to $175 million for the year to $225 million to $250 million for 2022.

Related: Bath & Body Aims to Keep Record Results Momentum as CEO Steps Down

Bath & Body Works, Inc. CEO and board member Andrew Meslow left the company May 12 due to health issues. The company announced in February it will use a national search firm to help to find a permanent CEO.