Why does no one know what to do with The Body Shop?

The Body Shop is reportedly bringing in administrators for its UK operation, in a move that could shutter some of the retailers’ 200-plus UK stores. The move follows a lacklustre Christmas trading period. These drastic measures follow the acquisition of The Body Shop by private equity […]

The Body Shop is reportedly bringing in administrators for its UK operation, in a move that could shutter some of the retailers’ 200-plus UK stores.


The move follows a lacklustre Christmas trading period.


These drastic measures follow the acquisition of The Body Shop by private equity firm Aurelius in November 2023 for £207m – a fifth of the price previous owner Natura & Co paid for it in 2017. 


Natura & Co revealed in September 2023 that it was looking to shed the ethical beauty brand, which it had purchased from L’Oréal.


Natura & Co’s decision came amid a transitional period for the Brazil-based brand owner, which had recently completed its sale of Aesop to L’Oréal. 


But it also followed a long period of poor sales for The Body Shop.


At the time, the business’ most recent quarterly net revenue totalled Brazilian real R$800m – this was down from R$850m in Q1 2023 and R$1,504.4m in Q4 2022. 


In the months prior to selling, Natura & Co attempted to minimise The Body Shop’s impact on earnings by reducing the brand’s leadership team by 25%, as well as 12% of overall staff.


The Body Shop also closed its At-Home direct-sales business in the US and shuttered its dedicated distribution centre in the UK.


Meanwhile, in April 2023, CEO David Boynton stepped down after five years at the helm, being replaced temporarily by Ian Bickley, Board Director at Natura & Co.


In light of recent news, Cosmetics Business revisits what beauty retail experts shared with us in September 2023 when we asked, can The Body Shop’s fortunes can be turned around, and what strategies would you like to see its owner implement to this end?

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