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The Body Shop reveals all 75 stores closing: is your local one of them?

The Body Shop
A total of 82 shops will be closed, meaning 489 workers will be made redundant in the coming weeks - Hollie Adams/Bloomberg

The Body Shop is planning to shut 75 stores and cut almost 500 jobs after the business collapsed into administration.

Shops slated for closure include The Body Shop’s site on Regent Street, London, which comes after the administrators axed its flagship store on Oxford Street last week.

FRP, which is handling The Body Shop’s administration, said they would close dozens of stores over the next four to six weeks, having already shuttered seven sites earlier this month.

Administrators previously said they planned to retain more than half of the 198 locations, although had not given a precise figure.

In its latest update, FRP said a total of 82 shops will be closed, meaning 489 workers will be made redundant in the coming weeks.

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Many locations affected are in towns and city centres, including High Wycombe, Wolverhampton and Bolton.

Tony Wright, one of the administrators at FRP, said: “In taking swift action to right-size The Body Shop UK store portfolio, we have stabilised the business and are providing the best opportunity for this iconic brand to have a long-term, sustainable future.”

FRP said it was “fully focused on exploring all options to take the business forward”.

It comes weeks after the UK chain was put into administration by its owner Aurelius, which had acquired the retailer just three months earlier.

The private equity firm bought The Body Shop in a cut-price deal worth £207m, marking a major reduction from the £870m that former owner Natura paid for the business in 2017.

The company, founded in 1976 by environmentalist Anita Roddick, made its name on the high street as an ethical beauty seller.

However, it has struggled in recent years amid growing competition from rivals including Lush and Rituals.

FRP’s announcement for the planned job losses follows reports in The Telegraph earlier this month that revealed the taxpayer is poised to foot The Body Shop’s multimillion-pound redundancy bill.

Staff were told in a video call in February to make claims through the government-backed redundancy payments service if they were included in the lay-offs.

Workers must have worked at The Body Shop for at least two years to qualify for redundancy pay.

Aurelius, which emerged as The Body Shop’s top creditor before its insolvency, was found not to be responsible for redundancy payments.

The closure of stores is expected to deal a blow to landlords across the country, which include Network Rail, Landsec and Nuveen Real Estate, one of the largest investment managers in the world.

Alan Spencer, head of UK retail at Savills, said in February that landlords were going to “have to take some pain in this process”.

The Body Shop’s store closures account for nearly 1pc of shopping centre owner Hammerson’s portfolio, which includes the retailer’s sites in Brent Cross, London, and the Bull Ring in Birmingham.

Rita-Rose Gagne, chief executive at Hammerson said: “Whilst our eyes are open to the current macroeconomic environment, our occupiers are thriving and our visitor numbers are on the rise in our realigned portfolio.”