The Body Shop’s iconic UK business has been forced into administration, casting a shadow over the fate of nearly 2,000 jobs.

The retailer’s stores will continue to operate as usual during this challenging period as efforts are underway to salvage the UK firm.

The administration process is being overseen by restructuring firm FRP, which has been appointed as the administrator.

FRP Advisory has announced its commitment to exploring all available options to chart a path forward for the business, emphasising the need for a more agile and financially stable UK operation.

This move is seen as a crucial step in transforming The Body Shop into a modern beauty brand that remains relevant to customers and competitive in the long term.

The shop has faced financial challenges

Founded by the late Dame Anita Roddick in 1976 with a single store in Brighton, The Body Shop became a global brand known for pioneering ethical trading and taking a stand against animal testing in the beauty industry. Despite its storied history, the brand has faced financial challenges under various owners and has changed hands three times since Dame Anita’s sale in 2006.

FRP Advisory is expected to focus on substantial cost-cutting measures, including evaluating property expenses and rents, which could potentially result in job cuts. The move follows poor sales during the crucial Christmas trading period, leading European private equity firm Aurelius, which acquired the brand in November for £207 million, to make the decision to place it into administration.

With over 200 shops and several franchises across the UK, The Body Shop’s British business has become a fixture on the High Streets over the last 50 years. Despite the challenges, it is considered highly unlikely that The Body Shop name will completely disappear.

Competition is rife

The current situation raises concerns among loyal customers and industry observers, with hopes that the brand will undergo a successful restructuring to compete with younger and more affordable brands such as Lush, renowned for its bath bombs and face masks.

Customers, like Lesley Hayhurst, who was one of The Body Shop’s first patrons in Brighton, express sadness over the potential loss of the iconic brand from the High Street. Another customer, Jasmine Payne, shares fond memories of the brand’s ethical stance but notes that the products have become too expensive for her budget.

Industry experts highlight the broader difficulties faced by retailers in a challenging trading environment, with squeezed customer budgets and the rise of online retailing. The fate of The Body Shop now lies in the hands of administrators, who will need to navigate a complex landscape to secure the future of this iconic brand. As the news unfolds, concerns are voiced for the well-being of employees and franchisees, with the hope that their interests will be a priority as decisions about the brand’s future are made.





Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.