May 19, 2024

The Body Shop is closing up to half of its UK stores

  • Written by Lucy Hooker
  • Business reporter

Image source, Andy Ryan/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock

The Body Shop is set to close up to half of its 198 UK stores and downsize its head office, resulting in hundreds of job losses.

The company, which is overseeing the restructuring of cosmetics retailers, said the closures would begin immediately on Tuesday.

The Body Shop employs around 2,200 people in the UK, including 750 staff at its head office.

Officials said the cuts “will help revitalize” the brand.

The stores immediately affected include four in London, where rents and other overheads are highest. The chain's remaining stores and website will trade normally as the restructuring process continues.

“It is expected that when the restructuring process is completed, more than half of The Body Shop's 198 UK stores will remain open,” the director of consultancy FRP said.

It is understood that The Body Shop's global franchises in the Middle East, Asia, Africa and the rest of Europe are not affected by the closures.

The Body Shop stores that will be closed on Tuesday are:

  • Ashford town centre, Kent
  • Bristol Queens Road, Bristol
  • Canary Wharf, London
  • Cheap, London
  • Nuneaton in Warwickshire.
  • Oxford Street-Bond Street, London
  • Surrey Quays, London

The UK arm of The Body Shop was placed into administration last week, two months after it was acquired by German private equity firm Aurelius.

“However, relevancy is crucial. A brand must evolve with its audience. The challenge is not only to maintain these values, but to communicate them effectively to a generation that demands authenticity and action,” she added.

“The decline in store volume will coincide with a renewed focus on the brand’s products, online sales channels and wholesale strategies,” FRP said.

Comment on the photo,

A closure notice has been put in place at The Body Shop, Nuneaton

Headcount at the London head office will be reduced by almost 40%, as part of a “smarter and more financially viable model” following the early sale of loss-making businesses in mainland Europe and parts of Asia.

The Body Shop Ambassador Program, which allows representatives to sell the company's products directly to customers, will also be closed, FRP said.

The retailer has already announced that its original direct selling network, The Body Shop at Home, which has operated for 30 years, will close this month.

Aurelius bought The Body Shop for £207m at the end of last year from Brazilian beauty giant Natura.

But the private equity firm said the chain's performance over the holiday period was “worse than expected.” [their] “Worst assumptions,” prompting a move to summon those responsible.

This is the first major retail failure in the UK this year.

Aurelius is the Body Shop's primary secured creditor – meaning it is the first to receive payments from the company when it restructures. As a result, it is also in a good position to regain control of the retailer.

Retail analyst Natalie Berg said the lockdown was a “reminder of the dangers of complacency”.

“The Body Shop was once a pioneer, but it has settled for the status quo. Standing still is the riskiest thing you can do in retail. You have to constantly evolve to stay relevant to customers. If you don't do that,” she said, “Person Another one will certainly do that.”

Founded by pioneering British businesswoman and activist Dame Anita Roddick and her husband in 1976, The Body Shop has quickly established itself as a leading ethical and sustainable brand – rejecting animal testing on cosmetics, promoting eco-friendly products and ethical sourcing practices. .

However, since then it has faced increasing competition, particularly from its main rival Lush which was co-founded by Mark Constantine who was a supplier to The Body Shop.

In 2006, Ms Anita and her husband sold The Body Shop to French beauty giant L'Oréal, which some of their original customers viewed as a sell-out.

Later, its adoption of aggressive sales tactics, including aggressive discounts, discouraged people from paying full prices for its products.

Are you an employee at The Body Shop? How were you affected by the issues in this story? Share your experiences via email [email protected].

Please include a contact number if you would like to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also get in touch in the following ways:

If you are reading this page and cannot see the form, you will need to visit the mobile version of the BBC website to submit your question or comment or you can email us at [email protected]. Please include your name, age, and location with any submission.