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The Body Shop files for bankruptcy; UK-based cosmetics major to close US stores


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The Body Shop, a UK-based cosmetics firm, shut down all of its US-based operations, reported CNN on Monday, adding that it will soon be closing dozens of Canadian store locations after filing for bankruptcy.

In an official statement earlier this month, the firm had announced that its US subsidiary was no longer operational, effective March 1.

The firm said 33 of its 105 stores in Canada will begin liquidation sales immediately, and “online sales via Canada’s e-commerce store will stop”. However, it said that all Canadian locations will remain open for the time being, reported CNN.

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Reports claim that high inflation in recent years has affected traditional retailers that predominantly operated out of malls and were aimed at the middle class.

Founded in 1976 by human rights activist and environmental campaigner Anita Roddick, the UK-based cosmetics company is known for products it markets as natural, sustainable, ethical, and cruelty-free.

It was one of the first companies to prohibit testing on animals for many of its products, according to CNN.

In 2019, the firm was certified as a “B Corp” – a designation given to companies that meet certain transparency and environmental conscientiousness standards.

The firm expanded to more than 2,500 retail locations in over 80 countries and was available to purchase online in more than 60 markets by 2023.

According to a CNN report, The Body Shop was purchased by cosmetics giant L’Oreal in 2006 for more than a billion dollars but later sold to Brazilian company Natura in 2017 for another billion dollars.

Natura, in its 2023 report, had said that The Body Shop was ‘(facing) headwinds’, and had a year-over-year decline of 13.5 per cent in 2022. But in late 2023, The Body Shop was sold to asset management group Aurelius for about $266 million.

With agency inputs.

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Published: 11 Mar 2024, 03:07 PM IST

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