Pure Beauty

The Body Shop redundancy bills to be footed by taxpayers

By Alessandro Carrara | Published: 22-Feb-2024

The Body Shop’s administrator FRP said nearly half of the embattled beauty brand's 198 UK stores could be shuttered, placing up 2,200 jobs at risk

The Body Shop’s redundancy bills will reportedly be footed by the UK’s taxpayers.

Affected staff have been told to make a claim to the Redundancy Payments Service, a government-backed scheme funded by national insurance contributions, The Telegraph reported.

It comes after The Body Shop’s administrator FRP said nearly half of the embattled beauty brand's 198 UK stores could be shuttered as part of restructuring plans.

Seven of the brand’s stores have already been closed across London, Kent and Bristol, including its Oxford Street flagship.

Some 300 head office roles have also been slashed, which FRP said will help to create a “more nimble and financially viable” business model.

The job cuts and uncertain future around store closures have encouraged a number of retailers to take to social media encouraging affected staff to apply for roles with them.

This includes health and wellness retailer Holland & Barrett, which said it was “saddened” by The Body Shop’s administration and invited staff at risk of redundancy to apply to the brand.

“We understand that the recent news regarding store closures may feel concerning,” Holland & Barret wrote on Linkedin.

“We deeply appreciate your dedication and commitment to The Body Shop over the years, and we want to do everything we can to support you during this challenging time.”

Stationery retailer WH Smith also made a similar post encouraging staff affected by the store closures to apply for positions in the company.

“We are sad to hear that The Body Shop will be closing some of its UK stores, and we’re keen to do what we can to support our fellow retail colleagues who are now facing an uncertain future,” WH Smith wrote.

The retailer added that the jobs range across travel and high street stores, as well as its support centres.

The Body Shop’s UK and German business arms collapsed into administration on 13 February, with FRP Advisory being appointed as administrators.

The advisory firm said the current store portfolio mix is “no longer viable”, and its actions aim to “re-energise” the brand and help it return to profitability in the long term.

“A reduced store footprint will coincide with a renewed focus on the brand’s products, online sales channels and wholesale strategies, bringing the brand in line with industry peers and supporting a return to financial stability,” FRP said in a statement at the time.

The store closures and administration come after an extended period of financial challenges for The Body Shop.

This includes multiple consecutive quarters of losses, with former owner Natura & Co cutting leadership and staff roles in an attempt to limit the impact on its earnings.

The Brazilian cosmetics giant put The Body Shop up for sale in September 2023.

Investor Aurelius Group snapped it up for £207m two months later, a fifth of the price Natura & Co paid in 2017 when it acquired the brand from L'Oréal.


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