The Kent Body Shop stores at risk of closure as fate of high street brand announced

The outside of The Body Shop store in Oxford Street, London with its doors shut
The brand currently operates five stores in Kent -Credit:Lucy North/PA Wire

Kent’s high streets and shopping centres are at risk of suffering another considerable blow as administrators for The Body Shop have provided an update on the brand’s future. In February this year, it was announced that the health and beauty retailer had fallen into administration.

This announcement was then followed by the closure of a number of The Body Shops stores around the country, including the Westwood Cross branch in Thanet, as well as the store in Gillingham’s Hempstead Valley Shopping Centre. The Body Shop at Home service was also closed.

A total of 500 shop staff and 270 at head office have lost their jobs. Administrators have confirmed that the 100 remaining shops are now up for sale with the rest of the assets of the business.

Read more: Gigantic Kent Wetherspoons that’s like ‘Costa del Sol’ is one of the UK’s best

Read more: Dreamy Kent country home set in two acres with enchanting woodland

For the time being, these stores will stay open and continue to operate as normal. However, if a buyer is not found then they will have to close and the business as a whole wound up.

An FRP spokesman said: "Following the appointment of joint administrators in February efforts have been made to stabilise the business of TBSI and effect various restructuring initiatives. To date there have been efforts to deliver a rescue of TBSI by proposing a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) to creditors.

“Prior to launching a CVA efforts have been made to engage with key stakeholders to agree terms on various matters. Despite the engagement of various parties, it has not been possible to reach the necessary agreements for a CVA to be launched.

"The joint administrators have therefore decided to commence a sale process for the underlying business and assets of TBSI. We remain encouraged by the level of interest received to date from interested parties."

This news follows the loss of multiple other high street staples in recent years, including Wilko, Paperchase and Debenhams. The Body Shop currently operates five stores in Kent, which could now close if a buyer is not found.

Kent’s remaining branches of The Body Shop

  • Ashford Designer Outlet - Unit 111 Ashford Designer Outlet, Kimberley Way, Ashford, Kent TN24 0SD

  • Bluewater - L015B Lower Rose Gallery, Bluewater Park, Greenhithe, Kent DA9 9SH

  • Canterbury Whitefriars - Unit 40 Whitefriars, Canterbury, Kent CT1 2SJ

  • Maidstone - Unit 24 Fremlin Walk Maidstone, Kent ME14 1QP

  • Tunbridge Wells RVP - Unit SU23 Lower Mall, Royal Victoria Place Shopping Centre, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN1 2SS

Get more news from KentLive straight to your inbox for free HERE.