The Body Shop filed for bankruptcy in the US and Canada following the collapse of its UK parent company.

Following the collapse of its UK parent company last month, The Body Shop faces significant challenges across its international operations. Guardian reported that in the US, all 50 outlets have ceased trading, leading to the filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, endangering 400 jobs and putting millions of dollars worth of stock at risk. 

In Canada, 33 out of 105 stores have closed, resulting in over 200 job losses. Filings in Canada disclose that the Body Shop there owed $3.3m (£1.9m) to landlords, logistics, providers, marketing agencies, insurers, utilities and freight service providers when it entered insolvency on 1 March. Further, the company announced that it had lost access to its e-commerce platform and the capacity to fulfil orders for wholesale partners, such as Amazon, due to challenges in meeting supplier payments.

This news comes just six weeks after a German private equity firm, Aurelius, acquired The Body Shop in January 2024; the company’s UK arm collapsed in February, a move that puts more than 2,200 jobs at risk at the cosmetics chain.

Meanwhile, the company’s divisions in Germany, Denmark, Ireland, and Belgium have been placed in insolvency after Aurelius sold them to Alma24, controlled by Friedrich Trautwein, a known associate with a history of restructuring troubled companies. Consequently, stores outside of Germany have been closed. However, the future of the company’s operations in Spain, Sweden, France and Austria is unclear amid wrangling over ownership.

Additionally, Aurelius, the German company that bought The Body Shop for £207m in November, said it had been unable to revive the fortunes of the business after dismal trading over Christmas and New Year.

The Body Shop
Image Source The Body Shop

These developments unfolded rapidly following a change in ownership, casting doubts on the brand’s future trajectory and its adherence to the legacy of its founder, Anita Roddick. Time will be the ultimate judge of whether The Body Shop can successfully navigate these challenges and establish a sustainable business model.

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