The Body Shop falls into administration

Home & Giftware magazine was sorry to hear of the collapse of yet another iconic retail business, as ethical beauty chain, The Body Shop, falls into administration, putting thousands of jobs at risk.

The UK branch of The Body Shop, which has around 200 stores, was put into administration on Tuesday 13th Febuary by the private equity firm, Aurelius, just weeks after the business was acquired from Nature & Co. in a deal worth £207mn.

The appointed administrator, FRP Advisory, will now consider all available options and will update employees and creditors in due course. The process does not affect The Body Shop’s global francise partners and the business will also continue to trade online and through its physical stores in the UK for the time being.

The Body Shop issued a statement, saying it: “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.”

It has also been reported that Aurelius has sold many of The Body Shop’s Asian and European businesses to an unnamed investor. This unwelcome news of another retail collapse comes on the heels of a depressed Christmas trading period and ongoing challenges facing high street retailers, including high business rates and rents, online shopping and town centre parking charges.

The Body Shop was founded in 1976 by environmental activist, Dame Anita Roddick, who brought her ‘cruelty-free’ beauty ethos to the mainstream in Britain. The brand is active in around 70 countries, with up to 10,000 employees and 3,000 stores worldwide. It has faced stiff competition from new brands entering the ethical beauty market, which have increased their market share in recent years.

Image of The Body Shop, Oxford Street, London, by Edward X


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