Tributes paid to retail pioneer

Dame Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop, passed away last night after a suffering a brain haemorrhage.

A statement released by her husband Gordon and daughters Sam and Justine said that Dame Anita had been admitted to the intensive care unit at St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester on Sunday evening.

“Gordon, Justine and Sam Roddick are very sad to announce that, after suffering a major brain haemorrhage, Anita Roddick died at 6.30pm this evening at the age of 64,” they said.

The Body Shop International chairman Adrian Bellamy said: "All of us in The Body Shop family are deeply shocked and saddened to hear the news about Anita’s passing away. Anita was not only our founder, but she was also the heart and passion of The Body Shop and with her we achieved so much, whether on animal rights, human rights, community trade, or through the founding of organisations like Children on the Edge. It is no exaggeration to say that she changed the world of business with her campaigns for social and environmental responsibility."

Dame Anita had been battling hepatitis C, an illness she contracted through an infected blood transfusion in 1971 while giving birth to her youngest daughter Sam.

Dame Anita, who was a founder member of Retail Week's Editorial Advisory Board when the magazine launched nearly 20 years ago, founded The Body Shop in 1976, selling products that were not tested on animals. She was one of the pioneers in the fight for ethical sourcing and cruelty-free products.

The prime minister Gordon Brown said that Dame Anita was "one of the country's true pioneers".

Dame Anita sold The Body Shop to French cosmetics group L’Oréal last year for£625 million.