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2,000 jobs at risk as The Body Shop enters administration

2,000 jobs at risk as The Body Shop enters administration
Matt Browning
Written By:
Matt Browning

Skincare retailer The Body Shop has entered administration, putting up to 2,000 jobs at risk.

Its 199 UK stores will continue to trade, as will its online retailer while the company is restructured by FRP Advisory, the administrators tasked with rescuing the firm.

The news following yesterday’s reports was confirmed in a statement by Aurelius, the private equity firm that purchased the troubled retailer in December last year.

It said: “Today, the Directors of The Body Shop International Limited have appointed Tony Wright, Geoff Rowley, and Alastair Massey of business advisory firm FRP as joint administrators of the company, which operates The Body Shop’s UK business.

“Taking this approach provides the stability, flexibility, and security to find the best means of securing the future of The Body Shop and revitalising 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 company was founded by Anita Roddick in 1976, who adopted an ethical approach to business by refusing to test its products on animals.

Retailer has experienced ‘extended period of financial challenges’

After thirty years, the businesswoman sold the company to L’Oréal in 2006. Then, after a couple of ownership changes, the beleaguered cosmetics firm fell into hot water for paying its employees less than the minimum wage.

When Aurelius acquired the company in late 2023, it was valued at £207m. However, the owners have since sold off parts of the retailer to Europe and Asia following poor sales, which included a disappointing Christmas period.

Job losses and shop closures could soon follow, but the administrators are hopeful the writing is not on the wall.

FRP Advisory said: “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 Body Shop has faced an extended period of financial challenges under past owners, coinciding with a difficult trading environment for the wider retail sector.”