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The Body Shop to close nearly half of UK stores – with seven to shut immediately

The Body Shop is facing an uncertain future. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
The Body Shop is facing an uncertain future. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

The joint administrators of The Body Shop have revealed plans to restructure the high street retailer which will see a raft of stores close and hundreds of jobs lost.

FRP, which was appointed to oversee the process last week, said by the time the restructure has been completed nearly half of its 198 UK stores will close.

The firm added that seven stores are to close immediately: Surrey Quays (London), Oxford Street Bond Street (London), Canary Wharf (London), Cheapside (London), Nuneaton (Warwickshire), Ashford town centre (Kent) and Queens Road, Bristol.

FRP has also confirmed that The Body Shop’s head office staff will be cut by around 40 per cent down to just over 400 full-time employees.

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The joint administrators added that they have also decided The Body Shop Ambassador programme will close.

An FRP statement said: “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.

“Following the earlier sale of loss-making businesses in much of mainland Europe and parts of Asia, and to support a simplified business, The Body Shop will also restructure roles in its head office to align with this forward-looking strategy and more nimble, financially viable model.”

FRP added: “Stabilising and strengthening the central core will also support The Body Shop’s international strategy, with global head franchise partners and wholesale partners in Asia, Middle East and Europe a cornerstone of future success.

“This swift action will help re-energise The Body Shop’s iconic brand and provide it with the best platform to achieve its ambition to be a modern, dynamic beauty brand that is able to return to profitability and compete for the long term.”