A high street favourite with two shops in York is set to appoint administrators putting thousands of jobs at the cosmetics chain at risk.

The Body Shop, which runs stores in Coppergate and McCarthurGlen Designer Outlet, filed a notice to appoint administrators late on Monday.

It is understood the business, which operates over 200 shops across the UK, could enter administration as soon as today (Tuesday), with insolvency experts at FRP Advisory lined up to oversee the process.

The proposed administrators are expected to seek buyers for the business and its assets, but the process will nonetheless cast a shadow over the future of its stores and workforce.

FRP said: “The Body Shop has faced an extended period of financial challenges under past owners, coinciding with a difficult trading environment for the wider retail sector.

“Having taken swift action in the last month, including closing down The Body Shop At Home and selling its business across most of Europe and in parts of Asia, focusing on the UK business is the next important step in The Body Shop’s restructuring.”

The administrators added: “The Body Shop remains guided by its ambition to be a modern, dynamic beauty brand, relevant to customers and able to compete for the long term.

“Creating a more nimble and financially stable UK business is an important step in achieving this.”

The retailer was founded in 1976 by Anita Roddick and her husband Gordon as one of the first companies to promote so-called ethical consumerism, focusing on ethically produced cosmetics and skincare products.

York Press: The Body Shop is set to appoint administrators, putting thousands of jobs at the cosmetics chain at riskThe Body Shop is set to appoint administrators, putting thousands of jobs at the cosmetics chain at risk (Image: PA)

It comes only weeks after new owners, European private equity firm Aurelius, took control of the business.

Aurelius, which specialises in buying and turning around troubled firms, secured a £207 million deal in November to buy the Body Shop from Brazilian cosmetics giant Natura & Co.

It only took control of operations officially on January 1.

The business employed around 10,000 people worldwide at the time of the takeover.

Read next:

Aurelius agreed a deal late last month to sell the company’s operations in most of mainland Europe and in parts of Asia to an international family office in a “decisive step towards delivering a strong turnaround strategy” at The Body Shop.

As The Press reported, The Body Shop in Coppergate had a major refurbishment last May.

Among the new features in the store - popular with many in York - was locally created ceramics, an activism station and an extended area for testing products.

The health and beauty favourite has been located in The Coppergate Centre since it opened in 1984.

The Body Shop store in Stonegate closed in 2020 amid the Covid pandemic. 

A sign was posted in its window at the time stating: "We've shut up shop."