The Body Shop collapses into administration with up to 2,000 jobs at risk

13 February 2024, 13:26 | Updated: 13 February 2024, 13:29

As many as 2,000 jobs are at risk as The Body Shop enters administration
As many as 2,000 jobs are at risk as The Body Shop enters administration. Picture: Alamy

By Asher McShane

The Body Shop’s UK business is being placed into administration, putting thousands of jobs at the cosmetics chain at risk.

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The retailer's shops will remain open as usual while the administrators try to save the UK firm.

The retailer was founded in 1976 by Anita Roddick and her husband Gordon as one of the first companies to promote so-called ethical consumerism, focusing on ethically produced cosmetics and skincare products.

It comes only weeks after new owners, European private equity firm Aurelius, took control of the business.

Aurelius, which specialises in buying and turning around troubled firms, secured a £207 million deal in November to buy the Body Shop from Brazilian cosmetics giant Natura & Co.

It only took control of operations officially on January 1.

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The business employed around 10,000 people worldwide at the time of the takeover.

Aurelius agreed a deal late last month to sell the company's operations in most of mainland Europe and in parts of Asia to an international family office in a "decisive step towards delivering a strong turnaround strategy" at The Body Shop.

Administrators FRP have been appointed to take over the firm and attempt to sell its assets, in order to repay the iconic brand’s debts.

The administrators said: “Taking this approach provides the stability, flexibility and security to find the best means of securing the future of The Body Shop and revitalizing this iconic British brand. The Joint Administrators will now consider all options to find a way forward for the business and will update creditors and employees in due course.

“The Body Shop remains guided by its ambition to be a modern, dynamic beauty brand, relevant to customers and able to compete for the long term. Creating a more nimble and financially stable UK business, is an important step in achieving this.

“The Joint Administrators will continue to trade the business in administration, ensuring customers will be able to continue to shop in store and online for their favourite products.

“The Body Shop has faced an extended period of financial challenges under past owners, coinciding with a difficult trading environment for the wider retail sector. Having taken swift action in the last month, including closing down The Body Shop At Home and selling its business across most of Europe and in parts of Asia, focusing on the UK business is the next important step in The Body Shop’s restructuring.”

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