THE Body Shop, that bastion of British body beauty, has announced it has entered into administration, casting a shadow of uncertainty over 2,000 jobs within its UK operations.
The chain, which was welcomed with open arms in Spain and Portugal and expanded rapidly, christened its 100th branch in Spain and Portugal in 2016.
Worldwide, the cosmetics colossus owns over 3,000 stores in 66 countries, and currently operates over 200 stores across the UK.
Thus the appointment of insolvency specialists FRP Advisory to oversee the administration process cast a dark shadow over a global operation of 10,000 employees.
However, there’s a silver lining for the brand, as the process is confined to the UK business, leaving international franchises, including those in Spain, unaffected.
FRP said they will ‘consider all options to find a way forward for the business’ after years of difficulties for the well-known brand as shoppers have shied away from the high street and shopping mall.
The insolvency specialists said: “The Body Shop remains guided by its ambition to be a modern, dynamic beauty brand, relevant to customers and able to compete for the long term.
“Creating a more nimble and financially stable UK business is an important step in achieving this.
“The Body Shop has faced an extended period of financial challenges under past owners, coinciding with a difficult trading environment for the wider retail sector.”
The cosmetics giant, which was founded in 1976 by Anita Roddick and her husband Gordon, rose to global stardom off the back of its ethically produced skincare and beauty products.
Its range of products were a smash hit with customers from varying markets and countries across the world, who hailed its pioneering role in ethical consumerism.
But the signs were uncertain when the Body Shop was acquired by European private equity firm Aurelius on January 1 this year.
The transaction valued the brand at £207 million and was finalised in November.
Since Aurelius’s acquisition, most of its operations in mainland Europe and parts of Asia have been sold to an international family office.
The focus remains on realigning the brand’s trajectory towards long-term competitiveness and relevance in the beauty industry, they signalled.