May 24, 2024

2,000 UK jobs are at risk after The Body Shop goes public

LONDON – The British branch of The Body Shop has collapsed into administration, putting 2,000 jobs at risk at the once-leading cosmetics retailer.

Founded in Brighton, England, in 1976 by the late environmental and human rights activist Anita Roddick, The Body Shop was known for promoting ethically sourced, natural products and rejecting animal testing.

The retailer was one of the most popular retailers on British high streets in the 1980s and 1990s, but has faced greater competition from new entrants in recent years, including those also touting ethical credentials.

It is currently traded through 199 UK stores and online.

FRP, the business advisory firm appointed as administrator, said on February 13 that it would continue to trade in The Body Shop's UK operations, while it considers all options to find a way forward with the business.

Going into administration, a form of creditor protection, can result in the company being sold or stores closing.

L'Oreal bought The Body Shop in 2006 before changing hands again in 2017, when the French cosmetics giant sold it to Brazilian cosmetics company Natura & Co for €1 billion (S$1.45 billion).

But after struggling with profitability, Natura in turn sold it in November to private investor Aurelius Group in a deal valued at £207 million (S$352 million).

“The Body Shop faced a prolonged period of financial challenges under the previous owners, coinciding with a difficult trading environment for the wider retail sector,” FRP said. Reuters