Aromatika and The Devon Soap Company are sister companies, based in Devon, manufacturing and retailing a large range of organic and natural skincare, soaps, bath bombs and home fragrance from its Devon based stores including Totnes, Dartmouth, Exeter as well as operating a busy online store and wholesale business supplying salons and spas. All products are hand made in Devon at our Production Unit near Chudleigh.
Aromatika is announcing a number of business changes aimed at further strengthening the business, including the opening of two new stores in Honiton and Teignmouth but also the temporary closure of our Exeter store, pending relocation. Our high profile store in Exeter has experienced high rises in operating costs, in particular regarding business rates, which have increased 60% since first opening in Exeter 5 years ago! Clearly such increases are not sustainable on the high street. We hope the government takes a long hard look at the business rates system soon. A decision was therefore made to look at relocating this branch, but finding the fight location has proved tricky, so the search is still ongoing. We are considering and actively looking in locations such as the up and coming Fore Street area of Exeter and also Topsham.
In March Aromatika opened a new store in Honiton with the new Beauty Rooms opening at the end of July. The store has been an instant success and there is a big waiting list for the beauty treatments for when they start in July. Honiton resident Davina Blake said “I was delighted when Aromatika opened in Honiton. I am very much into natural products and I love the Face Cream I use. When I heard you had opened here I was pleased not to have to travel into Exeter any more.”
A further new store operating as The Devon Soap Company will soon open in Teignmouth which will also include a Beauty Room. Owner of Teignmouth retailer, shopdeadgorgeous, Barry Hemmings said “It is great that Aromatika and Devon Soap are coming to Teignmouth. We have followed them for quite a few years now and having them in Teignmouth will only enhance the shopping experience in the town.”
Aromatika and Devon Soap Company owner, Lisa Hosking, said “We have been looking at expanding into Honiton and Teignmouth for some time, so we are delighted to have found the right premises and are excited at the prospect. The growth coincides with the temporary closure of our Exeter presence on 20th July, while we look for new premises. Hopefully our Exeter following will be able to make use of our stores in Honiton, Teignmouth, Totnes and Dartmouth or online while we find the right premises.”
Lisa continued “Of course the High Street is a challenge at the moment but that is why it is key to find the right product, market and location and support it with good staff and marketing. We are currently recruiting new staff, as the team grows.”
This year is also seeing another growth in online sales but, interestingly, not at the cost of shop sales. Website manager, Simon Dolley, said “Aromatika and the Devon Soap Company are lucky because we get a lot of people visiting Devon on holiday who try our products and then buy them (and others) online when they return back home. That is where we have seen a real growth in online sales, as new customers are coming to us every year. ”
2019 is proving to be an exciting year for Aromatika and the Devon Soap Company as they prove to buck the trend in tales of High Street store closures.