The Body Shop’s UK business is set to appoint administrators in a move that could affect hundreds of stores and jobs nationwide.
It is understood the company is struggling after trading over the Christmas period into January fell below target.
The company, which was set up in 1976, could see a significant number of stores close amid a major overhaul.
It is unlikely the brand will completely disappear from Britain’s high streets.
The retailer is hoping to become better equipped to compete against other high street brands
There are hopes the retailer will emerge better equipped to compete against other brands after the restructuring process.
Aurelius acquired the business in November for a sum of £207million, reports state.
The new owners established that the company had insufficient working capital and was trading more weakly than anticipated soon after the deal was closed.
The firm has already closed its Body Shop at Home division amid growing financial struggles.
According to the company’s website, the Body Shop operates around 2,500 retail locations in more than 80 countries and has over 20 Head Franchise Partners across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
It also adds that it employs 10,000 people, with a further 12,000 staff through franchises.
The retailer has more than 200 shops and a significant number of employees in London, where its HQ are based.
It has yet to be confirmed how many stores or employees will be affected by the restructuring process, but a significant number are forecast to be axed.
The Body Shop’s business across most of Europe and parts of Asia has already been sold to an unnamed family office.
In a conversion with RetailWeek, the retailer explained that it “further prioritises the Body Shop’s strategically important markets and global head franchise partner relationships, which it will look for opportunities to build”.
High energy costs and online shopping trends have taken a toll on high street retailers
It continued: “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.”
Chris Brook-Carter, chief executive at the Retail Trust, said: "We're very sorry to hear the news about the Body Shop and the impact this could have on the thousands of people who currently work there.
“This kind of uncertainty only adds to the pressure many people in retail are already facing, which is being borne out by the numbers of workers and retailers reaching out to the Retail Trust for help right now.
“In the last year alone, we’ve received more than 11,000 calls to our wellbeing helpline, given out more than £600,000 in financial aid and worked with more than 200 retailers to help improve the wellbeing of their staff, as retail workers everywhere continue to be impacted by everything from job losses and the high cost-of-living to increased levels of abuse from members of the public."