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The Body Shop names central London stores set to shut, and more UK site closures to follow

The Body Shop has hired administrators (Gareth Fuller/PA) (PA Wire)
The Body Shop has hired administrators (Gareth Fuller/PA) (PA Wire)

A restructuring plan for the The Body Shop UK has been outlined, with seven stores set to close today and more to follow, with some of the central London branches among the first to go.

Other measures set out include restructuring roles in the firm's head office: headcount there is expected to reduce by approximately 40% to over 400 full time employees. Head office cover both London Bridge and Littlehampton.

The chain, which was founded in 1974 and is known for its cruelty-free and ethical beauty products, appointed administrators for the UK business last week and the latest measures are aimed at securing the "future of the retailer" in Britain.

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A statement on February 20 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.”

It added: “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."

The seven stores immediately impacted are: Surrey Quays (London), Oxford Street Bond Street (London), Canary Wharf (London), Cheapside (London), Nuneaton (Warwickshire), Ashford Town Centre (Kent), Bristol Queens Road (Bristol).

The joint administrators at FRP have been considering options to find a way forward for the business which is said to have faced an extended period of financial challenges under past owners, coinciding with a difficult trading environment for the wider retail sector.

The latest statement said 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".

It added that "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".