Tue, 13 Feb 2024 | ADMINISTRATION
Major UK cosmetics chain The Body Shop has fallen into administration, just months after it was acquired in a £207 million deal by a private equity firm. The company was acquired by German firm Aurelius in November 2023, but the private equity house said it had been unable to revive the chain’s fortunes following a poor trading period over Christmas and New Year.
Aurelius has confirmed the appointment of Tony Wright, Geoff Rowley, and Alastair Massey of FRP Advisory as joint administrators, leading to concerns that jobs could be lost at the company, which was founded in 1976. In addition to its UK head office and distribution centre, The Body Shop has close to 200 UK stores and employs more than 2,200 staff.
The administration comes after the company said it had experienced “an extended period of financial challenges under past owners, coinciding with a difficult trading environment for the wider retail sector”. Last month, Aurelius shut down the company’s direct sales business, The Body Shop at Home, and sold off loss-making overseas stores in Europe and Asia.
According to sources close to the process, the brand is expected to survive in some form. However, it is thought that a restructuring process could lead to the closure of up to 100 UK outlets, which would bring the company’s store count in line with competitors such as Lush.
Administrators commented that “focusing on the UK business is the next important step in The Body Shop’s restructuring”. They added: “Taking this approach provides the stability, flexibility and security to find the best means of securing the future of The Body Shop and revitalising this iconic British brand.”
Find out how poor trading conditions are putting thousands of businesses in the UK retail sector at risk of collapse during 2024
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