The Body Shop is to shut another 75 UK stores within the next six weeks - three of which will be in the North East.

The region is set to lose branches of The Body Shop in Durham, Middlesbrough and Morpeth, with 489 jobs being axed nationwide from this flurry of closures. 

The high-street skincare and cosmetics chain tumbled into administration earlier this month.

Administrators from FRP Advisory said the latest closures will take place over the next four to six weeks as part of a heavy restructuring aimed at preserving the brand.

The North East branches to shut are: 

  • Durham -  27 - 28 Silver Street, Durham, DH1 3RD. 
  • Middlesbrough - 50 Linthorpe Road, Middlesbrough, TS1 1RA. 
  • Morpeth - Sanderson Arcade, Morpeth, NE61 1PD. 

Last week, the retailer shut seven shops in its first phase of restructuring after confirming plans to close nearly half of its then-198 UK outlets.

The latest announcement will leave the retail firm with 116 stores across the UK.

Administrators said the closures will bring its store estate in line with industry rivals and will support “a return to financial stability”.

Tony Wright, joint administrator, said: “In taking swift action to right-size The Body Shop UK store portfolio, we have stabilised the business and are providing the best opportunity for this iconic brand to have a long-term, sustainable future.

“The UK business continues to trade in administration, and we remain fully focused on exploring all options to take the business forward.”

The insolvency specialists stressed they will support all affected staff with claims to the Redundancy Payments Service.

James Shepherd, Managing Director for Dransfield Properties who own and manage Sanderson Arcade, said: “We are in talks with a number of potential occupiers for The Body Shop unit and look forward to making some exciting announcements soon.

“We will fully support the wonderful staff at The Body Shop in finding alternative employment at Sanderson Arcade where possible, and feel that this presents the centre with another exciting opportunity to bring something new to Morpeth.

“The centre will be celebrating a raft of new openings over the next three months with building works starting next week for welcoming The White Company, Oliver Bonas and a third retailer, which will be announced soon, to the centre.”

The business had employed around 1,500 store workers before the administration.

It was announced last week around 270 head office jobs would be cut, leaving around 400 workers at The Body Shop’s London headquarters.

It hired administrators, who will assess offers for the brand and its assets, after years of financial struggles and amid a challenging backdrop for shoppers.

The Body Shop was founded in 1976 by Anita Roddick and her husband Gordon as one of the first companies to promote so-called ethical consumerism, focusing on ethically produced cosmetics and skincare products.

The dramatic overhaul comes only weeks after European private equity firm Aurelius took control of the business.

Most read: 

Get the latest news, sports, and entertainment delivered straight to your device by subscribing to The Northern Echo here

The new owners, who specialise in buying and turning around troubled firms, secured a £207 million deal in November to buy The Body Shop from Brazilian cosmetics giant Natura & Co.

It only took control of operations officially on January 1.

Aurelius agreed a deal late last month to sell the company’s operations in most of mainland Europe and in parts of Asia to an international family office in a “decisive step towards delivering a strong turnaround strategy” at The Body Shop.