Bath & Body Works Company History Timeline


The very first Bath & Body Works opened in September 1990 at a mall in Cambridge, MA—very far from its supposed Midwestern roots.

Founded in 1990, the suburban favorite is still pulling in $1.6 billion every year.


Anita Roddick, the founder of the The Body Shop, hated copycats and the company sued BBW in 1991.

Shapiro, Eben. ”The Sincerest Form of Rivalry.“ New York Times 19 Oct 1991.


Born, Pete. “Bath & Body Works.” WWD 15 May 1992: S21.


Kate was even mentioned in the company’s 1997 Annual Report by Limited Brand’s CEO Les Wexner:


Klepacki, Laura. “A HEARTLAND TOUCH.“ WWD 19 May 2000: 14B. General OneFile.


The Heartland Era—which, according to Vintage Bath & Body Works, lasted through 2001—became the company's signature style for the next decade.


Limited Brands Press Release: “President and CEO Beth Pritchard Retires from Bath & Body Works.” PR Newswire 13 Jan 2003.


Kate became part of emotional branding canon, though she was probably in for a shock when the company underwent a major rebranding in 2008 that included a new look for the signature collections and updated packaging.


2011 – Present: The 2nd Heartland Era?Slowly but surely, BBW seems to be reintroducing elements from its previous Heartland Era.

Cia explains that when she started blogging in 2011, "the company was really open about telling us about their new products.


The White Barn Candle line from the late ‘90s was reintroduced in the fall of 2012.


On average, Bath & Body Works stores have pulled in $1.6 billion in sales per year for the past four years; as a whole, L Brands' net revenue for 2013 was $11 billion.


Source: LB Form 10-K for fiscal year ended 2014

Out of L Brands' $11.5 billion sales in 2014, Bath & Body Works (excluding international sales) contributed to around $3.5 billion, reflecting a 7% year-on-year growth.

Bath & Body Works is globally the largest specialty retail beauty brand with over 120 million transactions in 2014.

Cut to 2014 and you'll see shelves of candles from White Barn, a home fragrance brand that L Brands owns the distribution rights to.

Even though Bath & Body Works is America’s Number 1 brand for lotions, gels, and aromatherapy, it is cautious with its international expansion. It expanded to Asia and Latin America only in 2014.


The company plans on opening 50 new stores internationally in 2015.

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Bath & Body Works History FAQs

How Old Is Bath & Body Works?

Bath & Body Works is 33 years old.

Who Is The Founder Of Bath & Body Works?

Leslie Wexner founded Bath & Body Works.

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