In the media

The Body Shop: what went wrong?

By Eve Thomas

Retail Insight Network

01 March 2024

Once an iconic staple of the British high street, the failure of The Body Shop is a cautionary tale for retailers. Suzi Bentley-Tanner, a retail expert at PA Consulting, is quoted in Retail Insight Network discussing The Body Shop’s recent missteps.

The article notes that British natural and ethical beauty brand The Body Shop announced that it was going into administration on 13 February after trading for nearly half a century. FRP Advisory, which is managing the restructuring, revealed yesterday that 75 stores will be closed over the next six weeks, with 489 job losses. As a pioneer in ethical toiletries, The Body Shop has long been proud of being “more than just a beauty brand.” Its website notes that “today, there are more and more brands following in our footsteps, and we’re glad to welcome them aboard.” Yet it is these “following” brands that have succeeded where The Body Shop has failed, crowding the market and pushing out the trailblazer. The additional competition wasn’t the only reason for the company’s failure, though, as retail experts and branding professionals tell Retail Insight Network.

Suzi Bentley-Tanner explains: “Being environmentally conscious was Body Shop’s key differentiator when it started. Since then, more and more organisations have become more aware of some of the big issues such as sustainability and animal testing and have followed suit. This has meant that it is now a very crowded and saturated market which makes it far more difficult to stand out.”

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