The Body Shop’s UK arm is set to cut 300 head office positions and close several stores in a major restructure after entering administration in February 2024. 

The move could lead to the closure of half its 198 stores in the country.  

The company, which employs 2,200 people in the UK, is struggling amid severe financial challenges. 

The retailer has appointed FRP Advisory as its administrator. 

The administrators have informed staff that seven stores will cease operations immediately, with further closures anticipated.  

The immediate store closures include locations in London, Warwickshire, Kent and Bristol. 

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The company’s workforce at its London and Littlehampton offices will be reduced by 40% to 400 employees.  

The impact on warehouse staff in Littlehampton remains uncertain. 

The retailer, which was recently acquired by restructuring specialist Aurelius, has also disbanded its entire activism team, The Guardian has reported. 

FRP joint administrators Tony Wright, Geoff Rowley and Alastair Massey were quoted as saying: “After years of unprofitability and following a full evaluation of The Body Shop’s UK business, the joint administrators have concluded that the current store portfolio mix is no longer viable. As an immediate step, seven stores will close today, with additional closures to follow. It is expected that at the conclusion of the restructuring, more than half of The Body Shop’s 198 UK stores will remain open. 

“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.” 

The administrators emphasised the need for a “more nimble, financially viable model” and the importance of partnerships in Asia, the Middle East and Europe for future success. 

Employees affected by the layoffs will need to seek compensation through the government-backed Redundancy Payments Service.  

The job cuts span multiple departments and affect IT, marketing and sustainability. 

Aurelius, as the Body Shop’s main creditor with secured debt, is expected to reclaim control of the business after the downsizing.  

In early January 2024, Aurelius took control of The Body Shop by making an upfront payment of £117m. It agreed to pay £207m in November 2023.