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The Body Shop shuts down all US operations, closes dozens of stores in Canada | CNN Business



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The Body Shop has shut down all of its US-based operations and will be closing dozens of Canadian store locations as it files for bankruptcy.

In a news release earlier this month, the UK-based cosmetics company announced that its US subsidiary is no longer operational, effective March 1. It added that 33 of its 105 stores in Canada will begin liquidation sales immediately and “online sales via Canada’s ecommerce store will stop,” but that all Canadian locations will remain open for the time being.

High inflation in recent years has hurt traditional retailers, particularly those like The Body Shop that predominantly operated out of malls and were aimed at the struggling middle class.

The Body Shop, known for products it markets as natural, sustainable, ethical and cruelty-free, was founded in 1976 in the UK by human rights activist and environmental campaigner Anita Roddick. It was one of the first companies to prohibit testing on animals for many of its products. In 2019 it was certified as a “B Corp,” a designation given to companies that meet certain transparency and environmental conscientiousness standards.

By 2023, it had expanded to more than 2,500 retail locations in more than 80 countries and was available to purchase online in more than 60 markets.

Since its inception, The Body Shop has changed hands several times. It was purchased by cosmetics giant L’Oréal in 2006 for more than a billion dollars, before being sold to Brazilian company Natura in 2017 for another billion dollars.

The brand has been ailing in recent years. In an early 2023 report, Natura noted that The Body Shop was “(facing) headwinds” with a year-over-year decline of 13.5% in 2022, a year the company said “was far from easy” for the brand. Its direct-to-consumer channels, which had “benefitted during Covid,” returned to “more normalized pre-pandemic levels,” further impacting sales numbers, Natura said.

Late last year, The Body Shop was sold to asset management group Aurelius for about $266 million.

CNN has reached out to The Body Shop and Aurelius for comment.

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