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The Body Shop to shutter 75 UK stores, almost 800 jobs to be lost

By Rachel Douglass


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The Body Shop Body Butters Credits: The Body Shop

As part of its administration process, The Body Shop is now preparing to close 75 stores across the UK over the next six weeks, with a reported 489 jobs believed to be on the line.

These redundancies will be combined with the 300 head office jobs that are to also be cut amid an ongoing restructuring, as reported by the Guardian which cited a statement by joint administrator Tony Wright.

Speaking to the media outlet, Wright said: “In taking swift action to right-size The Body Shop UK portfolio, we have stabilised the business and are providing the best opportunity for this iconic brand to have a long-term, sustainable future.

“The UK business continues to trade in administration, and we remain fully focused on exploring all options to take the business forward.”

Administration firm FRP, which is overseeing the process, noted that 116 of The Body Shop’s stores in the region will remain open, and such changes would only impact the company’s UK operations.

FRP had already outlined details of its plan for the cosmetics retailer last week, initially announcing that it was to shutter seven of its stores and cut 300 head office jobs.

At the time, the firm told the Guardian that a reduced store footprint would “coincide with a renewed focus on the brand’s products, online sales channels and wholesale strategy”, while its job cuts were a part of creating “a forward-looking strategy and more nimble, financially viable model”.

The Body Shop orders to pay Rituals in lawsuit

The Body Shop had called in administrators earlier this month, shortly after the retailer was sold to restructuring company Aurelius, understood to be the main creditor, in a 207 million pound deal.

Since then, other regions have also taken a hit, with The Body Shop’s German stores also reportedly beginning to close after taking the plunge, a process that later followed in Belgium and Ireland.

In the Netherlands, meanwhile, the retailer was facing different sorts of problems. The Court of Appeal in The Hague found The Body Shop was guilty of copying a range of skincare products by its competitor Rituals, ordering the former to compensate the latter for damage caused.

The case came in regards to The Body Shop’s Spa of the World skin care line, which featured a number of products with the word ‘ritual’ in their title, leading to a lawsuit by Rituals.

While The Body Shop had argued the word ‘ritual’ had been used in simply a descriptive way, Rituals demanded that the retailer halt using the term and ultimately convinced a judge that the way The Body Shop was using it was unacceptable.

The Body Shop has now been ordered to pay 36,000 euros in compensation to Rituals, with the court stating it was likely to have lost “consumers and market share due to confusion”.

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