Bath & Body Works is entering fabric care.
The company will debut its first laundry detergents and scent boosters online and in 80 stores this fall, with plans to later introduce fabric softeners and other products within the category.
“The customer was asking [for fabric care], and we started to look at the market, which is over a $13 billion market, and we don’t own any share in it — as a market leader, we thought we had a huge opportunity,” said Julie Rosen, president of Bath & Body Works.
From now through May 29, members of the Bath & Body Works loyalty program can vote for which Bath & Body Works fragrances they would like to see in fabric care, with the five most popular elections being available in a members-only early access shopping event preluding the full collection launch.
“Everything we do is fragrance-first, and so we thought that would be an interesting differentiator for us to join the market,” said Rosen, adding that in addition to bringing fan-favorite scents to the category, the company’s perfumers are developing new, laundry-first fragrances for the launch.
“We’ll be launching close to 18 fragrances — we’re going out there in a big way,” said Rosen.
Since launching nationwide in August 2022, the Bath & Body Works loyalty program has grown to 38 million members, who account for two-thirds of the company’s sales. The company posted $4.6 billion in sales last year, earning it the number 11 spot on WWD Beauty Inc’s list of the top 100 beauty manufacturers in 2022.
The company’s men’s business was its fastest-growing category within body care.
“Not only do we have a high retention rate, but we have a high data capture rate, so we can take that data and start to do some personalized, segmented marketing,” she said. “We’ll start to see when we launch who’s buying laundry and who should we be targeting with laundry as we launch new scents.”
To supplement the foray, Bath & Body Works will roll out influencer and celebrity product seedings, tap consumers and store associates for UGC and host a website takeover to spotlight the launch this fall.
“There’s this idea of being ‘counter proud,’ where the laundry room has become an important room — it’s no longer relegated to the basement or the lower level. We see this as a way to elevate our brand, and elevate the mundane, which laundry kind of is sometimes,” said Rosen.