The Body Shop to shut nearly half of UK shops

the body shop to shut nearly half of uk shops

The British cosmetics brand will close half of its UK shops after falling into administration. Photo: Daniel LEAL / AFP/File Source: AFP

The UK arm of The Body Shop cosmetics group will shut nearly half its 198 outlets, adminstrators brought in to save parts of the distressed company said Tuesday.

The near 50-year-old business renowned for ethical hair and skin products will immediately close seven stores, including four in London, administrators FRP Advisory said in a statement.

The Body Shop employs about 1,500 people across its UK stores but the administrators did not specify how many positions would be lost.

They added, however, that about 270 roles would disappear from its London head office, or some 40 percent of the workforce there.

The Body Shop last week appointed FRP to try and keep the business running, just a few months after it was bought by Aurelius.

The German private equity firm has already offloaded the cosmetic group’s operations in most of mainland Europe and in parts of Asia.

“After years of unprofitability and following a full evaluation of The Body Shop’s UK business,… administrators have concluded that the current store portfolio mix is no longer viable,” Tuesday’s statement said.

It added that “a reduced store footprint, will coincide with a renewed focus on the brand’s products, online sales channels and wholesale strategies,… supporting a return to financial stability”.

Founded in 1976 by Anita Roddick, the group was later owned also by French cosmetics giant L’Oreal and then Brazil’s Natura Cosmeticos, prior to its recent sale.

Roddick, who died in 2007 from a brain haemorrhage, rapidly expanded the business from modest beginnings with a determination to offer products that had not been tested on animals.

She set out to make her business also environmentally-friendly, with customers encouraged to return empty containers for refilling at the original shop in Brighton, on England’s south coast.

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