Two more shops are set to close in Weymouth and Dorchester after a much-loved brand said it was pulling out.

Cosmetics company The Body Shop, which has a store on St Thomas Street in Weymouth and another on Antelope Walk in Dorchester, has announced that both of these stores will cease trading.

A spokesperson for The Body Shop said: "We regularly review our store portfolio performance and have taken the decision not to renew the lease of The Body Shop stores in Weymouth and Dorchester, and close these stores.

"We will cease trading on 22nd July and 13th August respectively, and have been in consultation over the last few weeks with the members of the store teams to discuss job opportunities elsewhere within the business.

"Our valued customers can still purchase their favourite products by shopping online and via the The Body Shop At Home."

Dorchester Cllr Alistair Chisholm said it was "disheartening" to see another shop disappear from the high street: "Sadly it might not be the last business on the high street to close.

"At the end of the day I don't think Dorchester has ever really been a shopping centre that has brought people in from much beyond the local area." he said.

"People are far more likely to go to Exeter or Bournemouth or one of those huge shopping malls.

"I think the idea of turning what is still a comparatively small market town into a sub-regional shopping town would not work.

"I also think [the stores closing] is an extension of people buying online a lot more and people will have had a lot of practice of that during the lockdown."

However, he suggested that the council could find a new use for these buildings by making them available as residential properties.

"It's not the end of the high street, but it opens up an exciting possibility," he said. "We are not going to need as many retail premises because of online shopping, so let's make it easier to change the use of those buildings and turn them back into residential, which is what they were before.

"In Dorchester we have requirements for affordable housing so, at the same time as it is sad, perhaps if we can get our local authority to use their imagination and inventiveness we can turn this into something good.

"I would like to see a lot of that being affordable to buy or rent for young people, that would do much good for both Dorchester and Weymouth."