Opinion: The Body Shop forgot Anita Roddick's storytelling superpower

By Sarah Parsons | Published: 15-Feb-2024

As The Body Shop goes into administration, even the company's former CEO admits it was unable to tell its own story

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"I would have slit my wrists if I had ever thought I was ever going to be a part of corporate America, or England," said The Body Shop's late founder Anita Roddick. Her words might be insensitive by today's standards, hypocritical even for selling to corporate France, but at least she knew how to get your attention  – unlike The Body Shop today. 

The iconic British beauty company has gone into administration, risking 2,000 jobs and the potential shutter of stores around the country. The news has rattled the nation - it is a part of Britishness in a way no other brand is. Children visited The Body Shop's Littlehampton headquarters on school trips and a generation of consumers smelt like Body Butters and White Musk. 

When Anita Roddick died in 2007, her passing too sparked an outpouring of grief. In Britain, quirkiness and individuality are traits that are celebrated and eccentricity is a value Brits hold in high regard in the nation – and Anita's big hair and even bigger opinions represented the best of this. Heralded as the 'Queen of Green' and a 'crusader' against Big Cosmetics, Roddick was a great storyteller and

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