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Thousands of jobs at risk as The Body Shop falls into administration

The Body Shop has hired administrators, putting thousands of jobs at the cosmetics chain at risk.

The retailer, which runs more than 200 shops across the UK, has appointed insolvency experts from FRP Advisory to oversee the process.

FRP said the administrators will “consider all options to find a way forward for the business” after years of financial struggles and amid a challenging backdrop for shoppers.

The chain will continue to trade through stores and online during the administration process.

The Body Shop in-store signage
Aurelius agreed to buy The Body Shop in November (Alamy/PA)

Administrators stressed that the process will only affect its UK business, with international franchises not impacted.

FRP said: “The Body Shop remains guided by its ambition to be a modern, dynamic beauty brand, relevant to customers and able to compete for the long term.

“Creating a more nimble and financially stable UK business is an important step in achieving this.

“The Body Shop has faced an extended period of financial challenges under past owners, coinciding with a difficult trading environment for the wider retail sector.”

The retailer was founded in 1976 by Anita Roddick and her husband Gordon as one of the first companies to promote so-called ethical consumerism, focusing on ethically produced cosmetics and skincare products.

It comes only weeks after new owners, European private equity firm Aurelius, took control of the business.

Aurelius, which specialises in buying and turning around troubled firms, secured a £207 million deal in November to buy The Body Shop from Brazilian cosmetics giant Natura & Co.

It only took control of operations officially on January 1.

The business employed around 10,000 people worldwide at the time of the takeover.

Aurelius agreed a deal late last month to sell the company’s operations in most of mainland Europe and in parts of Asia to an international family office in a “decisive step towards delivering a strong turnaround strategy” at The Body Shop.