The Body Shop will be selling “most of its business in mainland Europe and in parts of Asia” as it transforms under the new ownership of private equity firm Aurelius, Retail Week can reveal.

Body Shop Stratford 2023

The Body Shop has signed an agreement with “an international family office to sell its business in most of mainland Europe and in parts of Asia” as it takes a “decisive step towards delivering a strong turnaround strategy”.

The parts of the business being sold equate to approximately 14% of The Body Shop’s external global revenue. The move will not impact the retailer’s operations in the UK or its global head franchise partners who operate at a country or territory level.

The details of the deal and the areas affected are unclear at this stage. However, the sale will include physical and digital operations. 

The Body Shop said offloading parts of its business in the region will allow it to prioritise “strategically important markets” as it sets its ambition ”to create a modern and dynamic beauty brand.”

In a statement to Retail Week, the retailer said: “This further prioritises The Body Shop’s strategically important markets and global head franchise partner relationships, which it will look for opportunities to build.  

“The Body Shop will also focus on more effectively reaching customers by strengthening digital platforms, developing new sales channels, and via differentiated retail experiences.   

“The announced sale is another decisive step towards delivering a strong turnaround strategy for The Body Shop, supported by the right structure.

“The ambition is to create a modern and dynamic beauty brand, relevant to customers and able to compete for the long term. The Body Shop must continue to create exceptional products, rediscover its unique voice and deliver financial stability.” 

The deal follows a series of changes at the specialist beauty retailer after it was snapped up by Aurelius from Natura &Co in a £207m deal, with an earnout of £90m, in November.

Retail Week can also reveal The Body Shop’s managing director for UK and Ireland, Maddie Smith, has become the latest senior leader to exit following news of interim chief executive Ian Bickley’s departure earlier this month.

Smith, who joined the Body Shop from Estée Lauder Companies, has resigned and will depart at the beginning of April.

The retailer said: “Maddie Smith took the decision before Christmas to leave The Body Shop. This is not connected to today’s news about the sale agreement, which does not include the UK.

“Maddie will be at The Body Shop till the beginning of April, supporting the ongoing transformation and leadership transition.”