The Body Shop administration: adds to pressure many in retail are facing

cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia/germany - 06 11 18: the body shop sign in cologne germany

On Tuesday [13 February 2024], the UK arm of The Body Shop collapsed into administration putting 2,000 jobs at risk.

The Bristol-founded business has changed ownership several times over the past few years. It was bought by L’Oreal in 2006, before changing hands again in 2017 when the French cosmetics giant sold it to Brazilian cosmetics maker Natura&Co for €1bn. Then was sold again to private investor Aurelius Group.

The natural beauty and skin care company has “faced an extended period of financial challenges under past owners, coinciding with a difficult trading environment for the wider retail sector,” according to business advisory firm FRP. A steep fall in turnover in 2022, from £487mn to £408mn, and a slow Christmas trading period was the final nail in the coffin.

Dealing with the impact

Commenting on news of The Body Shop’s demise, Chris Brook-Carter, chief executive at the Retail Trust – the charity caring for and protecting the lives of people working in retail, said:

“We’re very sorry to hear the news about the Body Shop and the impact this could have on the thousands of people who currently work there. 

“This kind of uncertainty only adds to the pressure many people in retail are already facing, which is being borne out by the numbers of workers and retailers reaching out to the Retail Trust for help right now.

“In the last year alone, we’ve received more than 11,000 calls to our wellbeing helpline, given out more than £600,000 in financial aid and worked with more than 200 retailers to help improve the wellbeing of their staff, as retail workers everywhere continue to be impacted by everything from job losses and the high cost-of-living to increased levels of abuse from members of the public.

“We know there will be many people out there with worries and concerns so we’d encourage anyone who thinks we can help to get in touch with the Retail Trust on 0808 801 0808.”

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