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Last Updated: Tuesday, 3 October 2006, 06:09 GMT 07:09 UK
L'Oreal plans Body Shop roll out
Body Shop
L'Oreal has grand plans for Body Shop's expansion
The boss of cosmetics giant L'Oreal, Jean-Paul Agon, has outlined plans to more than double the number of Body Shop stores around the world.

Mr Agon said Body Shop, which Paris-based L'Oreal bought in March for 652m ($1.2bn), could expand from 2,000 stores to 5,000 "in a few years".

In an interview with the Financial Times, he said China, India, Brazil, Argentina and Chile were of interest.

He also said L'Oreal shared the Body Shop's stand against animal testing.

New testing methods

"This brand [Body Shop] has a worldwide potential," said Mr Agon, L'Oreal's chief executive.

He said Body Shop, founded in the UK by entrepreneur Anita Roddick, had already launched in India and was now looking at the other countries.

Mr Agon added that L'Oreal was exploring the testing of chemical ingredients on artificially-produced human skin.

"The big ambition in terms of animal testing is to make animal testing disappear completely and forever in the beauty industry," he said.

"And we absolutely share this vision with Anita Roddick and the Body Shop.

"Except that our way to achieve it is not to say that we are going to be out of the categories that require (animal testing) today but (that) we are inventing like crazy on alternative methods for the future."

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