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16 June, 2024
 

Iconic cosmetics brand shuts down US operations

The Body Shop shuts down US operations, initiates liquidation in Canada, prompting questions about the future of ethical cosmetics retail

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The Body Shop, a UK-based cosmetics company known for its natural, sustainable, and cruelty-free products, has officially ceased all operations in the United States and is set to close numerous Canadian stores as part of a bankruptcy filing.

In a press release earlier this month, The Body Shop disclosed the closure of its US subsidiary, effective March 1. The announcement outlined the immediate commencement of liquidation sales in 33 out of 105 Canadian stores, while online sales through Canada's e-commerce platform will be discontinued. Despite the closures, all Canadian locations will remain open temporarily.

The company, founded in 1976 by human rights activist Anita Roddick, gained recognition for its commitment to ethical practices, including a ban on animal testing. In 2019, The Body Shop achieved B Corp certification, signifying adherence to transparency and environmental conscientiousness standards.

The Body Shop expanded globally, reaching over 2,500 retail locations across 80 countries by 2023. However, the impact of high inflation, particularly on traditional mall-based retailers catering to the struggling middle class, has taken a toll.

Undergoing multiple ownership changes, The Body Shop was acquired by L’Oréal in 2006 and subsequently sold to Brazilian company Natura in 2017 for over a billion dollars. In late 2023, the brand faced challenges with a year-over-year sales decline of 13.5%, according to Natura's report. The direct-to-consumer channels, which had thrived during the pandemic, returned to pre-pandemic levels, contributing to the sales downturn.

In a bid to revive the brand, The Body Shop was sold to asset management group Aurelius for approximately $266 million late last year. CNN has reached out to both The Body Shop and Aurelius for further comments on the situation.

Source: CNN

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