Tuesday, May 28, 2024

All seven branches of popular store close doors ‘for last time in Ireland’

Must read

ALL seven branches of The Body Shop closed its doors for the “last time in Ireland”.

Staff were informed via email weeks ago that the stores were closing from the 29 February, but were told yesterday they won’t be paid for the last two weeks of work.

1

The Body Shop has officially closed its stores across Ireland for the final time

The employees were also informed via Zoom call yesterday that they will not be paid for holidays owed or for any owed redundancy.

It is understood that 39 staff across five stores in the Republic of Ireland are owed thousands of euro worth of wages.

The manager of the Cork-based store, who marked an end to her five years as manager yesterday, posted an emotional farewell on Linkedin yesterday and declared: “It’s a sad day for us all.”

She added: “This morning we found out with certainty that we will not be paid for the last two weeks.

“We must now go to the Government with our hands out, because of the way this has been done we are unable to undertake [other] employment for 30 days unless the Minister waives it for us.”

Last month, The Body Shop was sold to a “family office” company named Alma24 after “years of unprofitability”.

The cosmetics company said physical stores “remain a part of future strategy” but there is “renewed focus” on online shopping and wholesales.

A representative for that company informed staff that they have applied to put the Irish operations into liquidation next week.

Most read in The Irish Sun

And although the 29th was due to be the last day of sales for the store, it is understood that staff decided not to come in today after being told they would not be paid for it.

The Grafton Street store is now shuttered with a sign in the window reading: “This store is now closed. Thank you for your custom”.

‘This is a public announcement’ says shocked fashion fan as major store closes

Social Democrats TD Catherine Murphy urged the Government to consider “all possible measures” to vindicate the rights of former staff following the sudden closure.

Deputy Murphy, who is the party’s spokesperson on enterprise, trade and employment, said is it “completely unacceptable” for employees of The Body Shop in Ireland to be “treated in such a despicable way”.

She continued: “Almost 40 staff from five stores across the country will now be dependent on the State to receive entitlements such as statutory redundancy.

“It is outrageous that these staff members are not going to be paid what they are entitled to – their wages and holiday pay. The company must have known for the past number of weeks, if not months, that it intended walking away from these commitments to their staff.

“How many more times must companies entering liquidation ride roughshod over the rights of workers before this Government takes action? It is not acceptable that ordinary workers consistently bear the brunt of company failure.”

HUMBLE ROOTS

THE Body Shop was founded in 1976 by Anita Roddick and her husband Gordon in Brighton, England when they opened up their first store.

The store’s approach was radically different to others in the beauty industry at the time, with ethical sourcing, natural ingredients and no animal testing being key values of the business.

Ms Roddick’s motivation was to “make a living for herself and her two daughters while her husband was away travelling.

The first Irish store was opened by Mildred and Peter McDonald in Dublin in 1981.

A second shop opened in Cork three years later and was soon followed by one in Belfast

And fans have been left absolutely devastated by the news of The Body Shops closure with one claiming it’s: “Difficult to convey how revolutionary it was in the ’80s.”

Another said: “My first experience with Body Shop was when I was on holiday in Dublin, Ireland, in 1989.

“I was so impressed that I looked for it here in the States. Sad to see that it’s in trouble.”

A third added: “I love body shop and it’s my favourite as well.

“I’m really worried, I don’t want body shop to close down, because I love their hand cream and gels, soaps, shower gels, creams and everything. Please don’t go, we love you.”

She added: “The Government must now act and assist Body Shop staff in whatever way it can. A full review of a liquidation process in which workers’ rights are routinely shredded must also take place.

“My thoughts are with the staff and their families at what must be a hugely stressful time.”

Peninsula Ireland, a HR, employment law, and health & safety consultancy firm, said the news highlights the importance of adhering to fair procedures.

‘Concerned’

CEO James Potts said: “We are concerned to hear about the handling of redundancies during The Body Shop closures in Ireland and feel it raises the importance of employer responsibilities in these situations.

“Whilst redundancy is often the last resort for employers, the process can be handled appropriately when supported by knowledge and preparation.”

He explained: “Upon being made redundant, employees in Ireland are entitled to the payment of their work done, annual leave owed, and in some cases, redundancy payments.

“Indeed, failure to deliver this may result in complaints being taken out against the employer.”

“This situation highlights the importance of adhering to fair procedures when it comes to any type of dismissal, including redundancy, and the value of employer preparation and knowledge for this unfortunate eventuality.”

Latest article