May 22, 2024

The Body Shop franchise in Singapore has not been affected by the UK business going into administration

SINGAPORE – It's business as usual at Singapore cosmetics and skincare franchise The Body Shop, despite its beleaguered British business entering administration.

All 30 stores here remain open, a spokesman told The Straits Times, without disclosing the number of staff working.

The British arm of the retailer, which operates more than 200 stores across Britain, announced on February 14 that it had appointed business consultancy FRP as administrator.

The Body Shop has been struggling with profitability and sales in recent years, amid increasing competition in the ethical cosmetics sector.

FRP has indicated that it will continue to operate The Body Shop's British business while it is in administration as it considers all options to find a way forward.

Reuters reported that going into administration, a form of creditor protection, could lead to the sale of the company or the closure of stores.

The move puts 2,000 British jobs at risk at the retailer, which was founded in Brighton, England, in 1976 by the late environmental activist and human rights activist Anita Roddick.

The company is known for promoting natural, ethically sourced products and avoiding animal testing.

The Body Shop was purchased in 2006 by French cosmetics giant L'Oreal, which sold it to Brazilian cosmetics company Natura & Co for €1 billion (S$1.45 billion) in 2017.

Natura, in turn, sold The Body Shop in November 2023 to private investor Aurelius Group in a deal worth £207 million (S$352 million).

Trade magazine RetailWeek reported on January 31 that The Body Shop had signed an agreement with an international family office to sell its business across most of continental Europe and in parts of Asia to begin turnaround efforts under Aurelius' leadership. The business parts sold reportedly represent about 14 percent of The Body Shop's net foreign revenue.

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The Body Shop did not respond to ST's inquiries about the sale, the buyer involved and the whereabouts of the companies involved.