The future of Chichester's Body Shop revealed as Sussex brand's fate hangs in the balance

The future of The Body Shop in Chichester has been revealed, weeks after the brand announced it had gone into administration.
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The Chichester store, on East Street, is one of 116 stores set to remain open as restructuring of the high street giant continues.

The news comes further to the announcement on February 20 that the business would be going into administration, following several harsh years of trade and a disappointing Christmas sales season. Branches in Worthing, Eastbourne, Crawley and Brighton are also set to stay open, and the 75 stores that are set to close will do so in phases over the next four to six weeks.

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Bosses at The Body Shop say store closures “will coincide with a renewed focus on the brand’s products, online sales channels and wholesale strategies, bringing the brand in line with industry peers and supporting a return to financial stability.”

The Body Shop in East Street, ChichesterThe Body Shop in East Street, Chichester
The Body Shop in East Street, Chichester

Tony Wright, Joint Administrator, added: “In taking swift action to right-size The Body Shop UK store portfolio, we have stabilised the business and are providing the best opportunity for this iconic brand to have a long-term, sustainable future. The UK business continues to trade in administration, and we remain fully focused on exploring all options to take the business forward.”

Even so, 489 staff are set to lose their jobs as stores close over the next 4 to 6 weeks, although Joint Administrators have promised to support all impacted staff with their claims to the Redundancy Payment Service.

The Body Shop has a long history in Sussex, having been founded by Littlehampton native and human rights activist Anita Roddick in 1976, with its first ever store opening in Brighton. Roddick sold the company to L'Oréal in 2006, which owned it until 2017, when it was bought out by Brazilian corporation Natura & Co for £880 million. Earlier this year, it was bought by European company Aurelius.

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With shops up and down the UK, The Body Shop has come a long way since the seventies but, with an international office in Littlehampton, it retains its presence in Sussex. A spokesperson for Aurelius made clear that administration only effects The Body Shop stores in the UK.

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