An Adver reader has mourned the loss of The Body Shop as the company collapsed into administration and shops shut around the country.

The beauty retailer declared insolvency earlier this month, not long after Aurelius bought the brand for £207 million in November.

The company, founded in 1976 by Dame Anita Roddick and her husband Gordon, will now close nearly half of its 198 UK stores and reduce the size of its head office.

Adver reader Harry Mortimer from Dorcan wrote about the possible reasons for the decline of what was once a popular and groundbreaking addition to the High Street.

He said: “Those of us of a certain age may be dismayed at the news the The Body Shop has called in the administrators.

“But it might be somewhat less of a surprise.

“When The Body Shop first became big news in the 1980s, it was a complete breath of fresh air.

“Its products were innovative and genuinely quite exciting. Nobody had heard of Japanese Washing Grains, for example, and many were keen to try them.

“The products were not tested on animals, they used interesting and often delicious smelling ingredients (dewberry, anyone?) and they worked.

“The company did not make ludicrous claims using cod science about the likes of lipids and free radicals guaranteeing you to be able to look 20 years younger.

“It merely said that if you wanted better skin, you could wash it with some nice stuff, and then put moisturiser on it.

“And we flocked to buy the products (and the packaging was nicely designed as well).

“Sadly, since the company’s sale to L’Oreal nearly 20 years ago, it lost that distinctiveness and became just another high street chain, another profit centre for the shareholders of a multi-national corporation.

“I feel sorry for the staff of the shops and I hope a buyer can be found to take the business on.

“And perhaps, if any new owner can return The Body Shop at least to the ethos of its early days (and please bring back the lemon and clementine perfume oil), I hope it can thrive again.”