Pure Beauty

The Body Shop to close nearly half of UK stores and axe 300 head office roles

By Alessandro Carrara | Published: 20-Feb-2024

The head office roles have been slashed in order to create a ‘more nimble and financially viable’ business model

The Body Shop could see nearly half of its 198 UK stores shuttered as part of administrator FRP’s restructuring plans.

The advisory firm has announced the immediate closure of seven stores across London, Kent, Warwickshire and Bristol, with additional closures to be made.

Some 300 head office roles have also been slashed in order to create a “more nimble and financially viable” business model, according to FRP.

Tony Wright, Geoff Rowley and Alastair Massey, joint administrators for The Body Shop, said the current store portfolio mix is “no longer viable”.

“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,” they added in a statement.

The administrator has also decided to close The Body Shop Ambassador programme, the brand’s indirect selling scheme.

FRP said its actions aim to “re-energise” the brand and help it return to profitability in the long term.

“Stabilising and strengthening the central core will also support The Body Shop’s international strategy, with Global Head Franchise Partners and wholesale partners in Asia, Middle East and Europe a cornerstone of future success,” FRP added.

The Body Shop’s UK and German business arms collapsed into administration on 13 February, with FRP Advisory being appointed as administrators.

The Body Shop’s administration has led to uncertainty for its fair trade suppliers, who could be left holding more than US$1m worth of beauty ingredients.

The beauty retailer works with 18 community fair trade partnerships around the world via its own scheme.

They could be left with hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of unpaid and unordered stock if the company goes under.

The store closures and administration come after an extended period of financial challenges for The Body Shop.

This includes multiple consecutive quarters of losses, with former owner Natura & Co cutting leadership and staff roles in an attempt to limit the impact on its earnings.

The Brazilian cosmetics giant put The Body Shop up for sale in September 2023.

Investor Aurelius Group snapped it up for £207m two months later, a fifth of the price Natura & Co paid in 2017 when it acquired the brand from L'Oréal.

Aurelius has since sold parts of the beauty retailer’s Europe and Asia business to an unknown family office.

You may also like