Pure Beauty

Why does no one know what to do with The Body Shop?

By Julia Wray | 1-Sep-2023

Neither the might of L’Oréal, nor Natura & Co’s attempts to return The Body Shop to its roots have spelled good health for the British high street staple, so what is needed to get The Body Shop back on track?

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Natura & Co this week revealed that it is potentially looking to shed The Body Shop, the ethical beauty brand it purchased from L’Oréal in 2017.

The strategic alternatives Natura & Co management is exploring for The Body Shop include “a potential sale of the business”.

Natura & Co’s decision comes amid a transitional period for the Brazil-based brand owner, which on Wednesday announced the completion of its sale of Aesop to L’Oréal. 

But it also follows a long period of poor sales for The Body Shop.

The business’ most recent quarterly net revenue totalled Brazilian real R$800m – this was down from R$850m in Q1 2023 and R$1,504.4m in Q4 2022. 

In recent months, Natura & Co has attempted to minimise The Body Shop’s impact on earnings by reducing the brand’s leadership team by 25%, as well as 12% of overall staff.

The Body Shop also closed its At-Home direct-sales business in the US and shuttered its dedicated distribution centre in the UK.

Meanwhile, in April, CEO David Boynton stepped down after five years at the helm, being replaced temporarily by Ian Bickley, Board Director at Natura & Co.

With Natura & Co now seemingly keen to make The Body Shop’s slump another company’s problem, Cosmetics Business asked beauty retail experts whether The Body Shop’s fortunes can be turned around, and what strategies they would like to see its owner implement to this end.

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