Next has contacted the administrator in charge of The Body Shop, FRP Advisory, about a potential deal to acquire certain assets of the embattled retailer.


Next has approached The Body Shop’s administrator regarding a potential deal

The fashion and home retailer has reportedly been monitoring The Body Shop for some time and a source close to the company confirmed it has expressed interest in a deal, according to Sky News.

Next has purchased several distressed UK businesses in recent years, including Joules, and Cath Kidston.

It also bought Fat Face in October 2023 and mother and baby retailer JoJo Maman Bébé in April 2022.

However, a source suggested to Sky News that contact between FRP and Next had “already stalled” and there were doubts that FRP would elect to run a conventional auction.

If Next did want to strike a deal with administrators, it would be unlikely to retain any of  The Body Shop’s 198 stores in the UK.

The Body Shop brand and intellectual property (IP) assets are not part of the administration process.

It is understood that The Body Shop’s owner Aurelius is financing the rest of the business and has secured major assets including stock and IP.

FRP is expected to decide if it wants to launch an auction “within weeks” and a sale back to Aurelius in its new form could be possible.

FRP said last week: “Following the earlier sale of loss-making businesses in much of mainland Europe and parts of Asia, and to support a simplified business, The Body Shop will also restructure roles in its head office.

“This swift action will help re-energise The Body Shop’s iconic brand and provide it with the best platform to achieve its ambition to be a modern, dynamic beauty brand that is able to return to profitability and compete for the long term.”

The Body Shop has already sold some of its Europe and Asia businesses to a family office, as revealed by Retail Week, following the acquisition by Aurelius.

At the time of the acquisition, The Body Shop employed around 10,000 people and had approximately 3,000 stores in 70 countries.

Next, FRP and Aurelius declined to comment.