The Body Shop to shut half its UK stores as part of administrators’ restructure plan

The Body Shop at Westwood Cross Photo Steven Collis

Joint administrators for The Body Shop at FRP Advisory say more than half of The Body Shop’s 198 UK stores will remain open but closures also take place today (February 20) with more to follow.

As part of a restructuring plan seven stores have been shut immediately, including one in Ashford.

A statement from FRP says: “After years of unprofitability and following a full evaluation of The Body Shop’s UK business, the Joint Administrators have concluded that the current store portfolio mix is no longer viable.

“As an immediate step, seven stores will close today, with additional closures to follow.

“It is expected that at the conclusion of the restructuring, more than half of The Body Shop’s 198 UK stores will remain open.

“A reduced store footprint, will coincide with a renewed focus on the brand’s products, online sales channels and wholesale strategies, bringing the brand in line with industry peers and supporting a return to financial stability.”

The Body Shop will also restructure roles in its Head Office with the headcount expected to reduce by approximately 40%, to 400 full time employees. The Joint Administrators have also decided The Body Shop Ambassador programme will close.

The seven stores immediately impacted are: Surrey Quays (London), Oxford Street Bond Street (London), Canary Wharf (London), Cheapside (London), Nuneaton (Warwickshire), Ashford Town Centre (Kent), Bristol Queens Road (Bristol).

The plan for the store at Westwood Cross has not yet been announced.

Aurelius bought The Body Shop International Limited in a £207m deal announced last November and completed at the beginning of this year.

But administrators were brought in for the ailing UK arm this month.

The Body Shop posted a loss of £60m in its last financial year when it was still owned by the Brazilian cosmetics group Natura & Co.

The Body Shop was founded in 1976 by Anita Roddick, with a small shop in Brighton/UK. At the heart of her vision stood an ethical approach to business, a purpose that was trail-blazing at the time.

The company was sold to L’Oreal in 2006 and then to Natura &Co in 2017 before the Aurelius sale.

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