Skip to main content

Iconic British retail brands, The Body Shop and Selfridges, attract overseas investment

Two beloved British retail brands, The Body Shop and Selfridges, have recently made headlines following significant investments from overseas-based businesses, solidifying their positions in the global retail landscape.

The Body Shop, a specialist beauty retailer founded by pioneering entrepreneur Anita Roddick in 1976, has been sold to the German Headquartered private equity group, Aurelius for £207m. 

One of the key factors that attracted Aurelius to The Body Shop was its strong responsible business credentials. The Body Shop is widely recognised for pioneering the cruelty-free and natural ingredient movement in the health and beauty market. This commitment to ethical practices and sustainability resonates with consumers globally, making The Body Shop an iconic brand with impressive consumer recognition.

Aurelius, with its focus on operational improvements and long-term growth, saw the opportunity to re-energise The Body Shop and drive its next chapter of success. The acquisition aligns with Aurelius' strategy of investing in businesses that have a positive impact and resonate with consumers. The Body Shop's responsible business practices, coupled with its iconic status, made it an attractive investment choice for the private equity firm also owns retailer Footasylum

This week also witnessed Thai retailer Central Group taking full control of Selfridge’s, prompted by challenges faced by their partner, Signa.  Although the details of the investment remain undisclosed, Central Group's majority control over Selfridges firmly establishes its position as the owner-operator of Europe's largest luxury department store group. 

The enduring appeal of both The Body Shop and Selfridges to overseas investors underscores the global recognition and admiration for British retail brands. These brands have successfully combined innovation, quality products, and exceptional customer service with responsible business practices, resonating with consumers who value sustainability and ethical choices.

How we can help

Irwin Mitchell recently published a new report about foreign direct investment into the UK which looks at which countries are investing the most in the UK, which sectors are most attractive, and where the UK hotspots are currently. Download the report here