Body Shop to shut Bristol store as part of swathe of closures

The Body Shop store in Nuneaton will close

The Body Shop has revealed plans to shut half of its UK stores, with seven closures happening today.

One of its biggest stores in Bristol is to close with immediate effect.

The move comes in the wake of the company’s entry into administration last week, a decision that has put over 2,000 jobs and 200 outlets across the UK in jeopardy.

As part of the announced closures, seven stores will shut their doors today, with locations including Nuneaton, Ashford Town Centre, and Bristol Queens Road, along with outlets in Surrey Quays, Oxford Street Bond Street, and Canary Wharf, all in London.

Despite these closures, more than half of the remaining 198 outlets are expected to remain operational.

However, the restructuring plan also includes the substantial reduction in head office roles, with 40% of positions set to be eliminated, translating to roughly 300 job losses, bringing the total number of full-time employees at the head office down to 400.

As part of the restructuring, The Body Shop has also made the decision to discontinue its ambassador program, where individuals sell products on commission.

It has been reported that the restructuring efforts are not expected to impact The Body Shop’s global franchise partners.

No specific timeline for further layoffs or store closures has been provided.

Professor Rebecca Parry, a specialist in law, says: “It looks like the Body Shop International Ltd chain is being prepared for a business sale, which essentially enables the valuable parts of the business to be preserved and leaves the debts behind.  The business will be sold to the highest bidder, who could be a new company controlled by the existing owner and set up for the purpose of the business sale.  The debts will remain behind with the old company which will be liquidated and the money from the sale will be available for creditors.

“The current owner loaned money to the company that would have enabled the Body Shop to be kept going, but they required in return security over the Body Shop’s assets, so the current owner has priority in the insolvency.

“They will be paid ahead of suppliers and other unsecured creditors.  Criticism has been made of this type of business sale but it is likely that the administrators could not identify a way to keep the business trading without this action being taken.  It might therefore be kicking the can down the road if the underlying issues which have led to the Body Shop struggling are not addressed.”

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