Barrie Thomas

Head Franchisee

The Body Shop NZ

Barrie is the Head Franchisee of The Body Shop in New Zealand. A social worker by training, Barrie came to The Body Shop via a stint in the fast food industry with Wimpy International (now Burger King) in London. Recruited by Myer Melbourne to help set-up Wimpy in Australia, Barrie also spent time evaluating The Body Shop, another franchise Myer was interested in. When Myer closed their franchising division at the end of 1982, Barrie and his then boss approached BSI International to take on the Australian and NZ franchise for TBS themselves. They opened their first store in Melbourne in 1983 and soon were inundated with requests for franchises. Many came from New Zealand but this was in the days when even soap needed an import licence so they went into the ‘too hard’ basket. Within a few years importing was easier and the first NZ store opened in Wellington in 1989, 30 years ago this month. At the time it was the busiest outlet for the TBS outside of the UK and was soon followed by outlets in Auckland and Christchurch. At the moment there are 25 outlets here.

Barrie moved to New Zealand in 2000 and lives in Wellington. Married to a New Zealander, he has three children, four grandchildren and one great granddaughter.