The Body Shop enters administration with thousands of jobs at risk
The UK business of the Body Shop has entered administration.
Up to 2,000 jobs across the cosmetic chain's stores are at risk.
Shops, including those in Lichfield, Merry Hill, Shrewsbury, Telford, Willenhall and Wolverhampton, are remaining open as usual while efforts are made to try to save the business.
Restructuring firm FRP Advisory, which has been appointed as the administrator and says it will now consider all options to find a way forward for the business.
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 administration 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 British Independent Retailers Association described it as 'sad' and has said the Government still needs to do more to protect the high street.
Bira, who work with over 6,000 independent businesses of all sizes across the UK, said that the economy needs growth to restore consumer confidence and keep the high street alive.
It is feared that the administration of The Body Shop, founded in 1976 by the late Dame Anita Roddick, may see shop closures across the chain of more than 200 and job losses.
The Body Shop's trading over the Christmas and new year period was not as strong as they had anticipated.
Andrew Goodacre, chief executive of Bira said: "It seems that we hear about the demise of a national retailer every few month – this time it is The Body Shop. A stalwart of the high street, it is sad news and we hope that the employees and franchisees are looked after whilst the future of this chain is decided.
"There is no doubt that since the cost of living crisis started in 2022, life on the high street has been very difficult for retailers large and small. Shoppers have felt inclined to spend less on so-called non-essential items and official retail sales figures are showing decline in sales volumes.
"The loss of The Body Shop should serve as a reminder to the Chancellor that the economy needs growth and he should use his upcoming budget to restore consumer confidence by focusing on economic stability and growth. High streets and local shops are vital to communities everywhere and more needs to be done to help them through these very challenging times."
The Body Shop has changed hands another two times since it was sold by the founder in 2006 to L'Oreal. It is believed to employ 10,000 people and operates in around 3,000 stores in more than 70 countries.