afaqs! news bureau

The Body Shop ceases all US operations, files for bankruptcy

It will also be closing several stores in Canada.

The Body Shop, a well-known cosmetics company celebrated for its ethical hair and skincare products, has shut down all operations in the United States and will soon close numerous stores in Canada as it undergoes bankruptcy proceedings, as reported by CNN.

The UK-based cosmetics company revealed in a recent press release that its US subsidiary is no longer operational as of March 1. Additionally, 33 out of its 105 stores in Canada will commence liquidation sales promptly, and online sales through Canada's e-commerce store will be discontinued. While all Canadian locations will continue to operate for the time being, the company faces significant challenges in North America.

The Body Shop, renowned for its natural, sustainable, ethical, and cruelty-free products, was established in 1976 in the UK by human rights activist and environmental campaigner Anita Roddick. Pioneering the stance against animal testing, it became one of the first companies to adopt this practice for many of its products.

In 2019, the company achieved certification as a 'B Corp', recognising its commitment to transparency and environmental responsibility. By 2023, the brand had grown significantly, boasting over 2,500 retail locations across more than 80 countries, with its products available for online purchase in over 60 markets.

The company has changed its ownership multiple times. In 2006, cosmetics giant L’Oréal acquired the company for over a billion dollars. Subsequently, in 2017, it was sold to the Brazilian company Natura for another billion dollars. Despite its changes in ownership, The Body Shop maintained its commitment to ethical practices and environmental values.

In recent years, The Body Shop has encountered challenges and a decline in its performance. According to an early 2023 report from Natura, the brand faced "headwinds," experiencing a year-over-year decline of 13.5% in 2022. In late 2023, the brand was sold to the asset management group Aurelius for approximately $266 million.

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