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The Body Shop begins store closures and job cuts as administrators announce restructuring plan

Sophie Smith
20 February 2024

Administrators at The Body Shop have confirmed a series of store closures and head office job cuts as part of a restructuring plan to "secure the future of the business".

After years of unprofitability and following a full evaluation of The Body Shop’s UK business, administrators at FRP have concluded that the brand's current store portfolio mix is "no longer viable".

As an immediate step, seven stores will shut today, with additional closures to follow. It is expected that almost half of The Body Shop’s 198 UK stores will close by the end of the restructuring.

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) and Bristol Queens Road (Bristol).

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

Following the earlier sale of loss-making businesses in much of mainland Europe and parts of Asia, and to support a simplified business, The Body Shop will also restructure roles in its Head Office to align with the forward-looking strategy.

The Head Office headcount is expected to reduce by approximately 40%, to a future headcount of over 400 full time employees.

"This swift action will help re-energise The Body Shop and provide it with the best platform to achieve its ambition to be a modern, dynamic beauty brand that is able to return to profitability and compete for the long term," the statement continued.

"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, the Middle East and Europe a cornerstone of future success."

The Body Shop collapsed into administration in the UK last week, shortly after new owners, European private equity firm Aurelius, took control of the business.

Aurelius, which specialises in buying and turning around troubled firms, secured a £207 million deal in November to buy the Body Shop from Brazilian cosmetics giant Natura & Co.

It believed that, despite the challenging retail market, there was an opportunity to improve the business and enable it to take advantage of positive trends in the high-growth beauty market.

The high street chain will continue to trade through stores and online during the administration process.

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