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The Body Shop to Close 75 Stores Across UK and Cut Hundreds of Jobs

The Body Shop is to close 75 stores across the UK in the next six weeks with the loss of 489 jobs, according to administrators who are overseeing the restructuring.
Brazil’s Natura mulls sale of The Body Shop.
The closures will result in the loss of 489 jobs across the country. (Shutterstock)

The closures are spread across the country, from Swansea to Glasgow, and mean that nearly 800 people will lose their jobs when the 300 redundancies at the head office are taken into account.

However, 116 stores will stay open under the changes, which affect only the company’s UK operations, the administration firm FRP said.

Last week, the administrators laid out plans to retain more than half of Body Shop stores as they announced the closure of seven shops. On Thursday, they told staff an additional 75 stores would close over the next four to six weeks.

The retailer, which employs more than 2,200 people in the UK, called in administrators this month, just months after being taken over by the restructuring company Aurelius in November.

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Tony Wright, the joint administrator, said: “In taking swift action to right-size the Body Shop UK store portfolio, we have stabilised the business and are providing the best opportunity for this iconic brand to have a long-term, sustainable future.”

“The UK business continues to trade in administration, and we remain fully focused on exploring all options to take the business forward.”

Aurelius is understood to be the main creditor, with secured debt that will ensure it gets paid by administrators before most other creditors. It is expected to take back the chain after the shop closures and job cuts.

The Body Shop has had three owners since it was sold by its founder, Anita Roddick, shortly before her death in 2007.

Roddick, who set up the business in Brighton in 1976, campaigned against animal testing of cosmetics and promoted natural products sourced ethically in a way that would support small producers around the world.

She shocked fans of the brand by selling up to L’Oréal, the cosmetics multinational that owns Maybelline and Garnier, for £652 million.

The brand was then sold on to the Brazilian natural cosmetics group Natura, which already owned the Australian Aesop beauty brand, for €1 billion in 2017. After Natura built up debts in buying the home-selling cosmetics group Avon, it sold off Aesop to L’Oréal and then The Body Shop to Aurelius late last year.

By Julia Kollewe

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Learn more:

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The beauty label has fallen under administration with plans to cut staff and stores. How did the ultimate purveyor of uber-perfumed creams and fragrances and purpose-driven brand messages, which seem so relevant now, fall so far?

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