The Body Shop set to appoint administrators

The Body Shop is set to appoint administrators later this week, with shop closures and job losses looking likely.

The British firm, which was established in 1976 by Dame Anita Roddick and produces anti-animal cruelty skincare products, was bought by Aurelius in November last year.

However, poor financial results across the Christmas period and competition from rivals, such as Lush, are said to have led to the expected appointment of administrators.

The BBC has reported that this takeover is believed to be arranged by restructuring firm, FRP Advisory.

As a result, many of The Body Shop’s 200 UK stores are at risk of closing, with job losses also expected.

Furthermore, experts have said that this raises fresh questions about the state of the British high street.

Head of money and markets at Hargreaves Lansdown, Susannah Streeter, said: "The Body Shop has failed to scrub out a sales decline, with damp revenues during the crucial festive period pushing an icon of eco beauty into an unwelcome position. While the plug will not be pulled on a brand that has lasted almost 50 years, it does still mark a disappointing development for what was a trailblazing venture.

"The Body Shop’s last owner, private equity firm Aurelius, only bought the company six weeks ago, and now, having unwrapped highly disappointing retail sales, there is not enough working capital for the business to continue in its current form.

"Administration will mean the company is protected from compulsory liquidation and offers legal protection from creditors’ demands. It will give Aurelius breathing space to restructure and close highly underperforming stores and refocus attention on e-commerce sales. Whatever the outcome, it looks likely that many shops will shut for good, opening up fresh holes in high streets across the UK."

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