More retailers on Ipswich high street could go to the wall in the wake of the collapse of well-loved high street chain The Body Shop, an expert has warned.

Lyndsey Squirrell - a senior associate on the Ipswich insolvency and debt recovery team at law firm Ellisons - said shops were under severe pressure because of the climate they are trading in.

The Body Shop has become the latest casualty as stores lurch from crisis to crisis, from huge energy bill rises to rent rises to Brexit and Covid - and fierce competition from online traders.

"Unfortunately I do think there will be more," she said. "We are seeing an increase unfortunately in retail companies going into the insolvency process. As sad as it is, it would not be the first to see this happen.

"There are few (national) retail outlets in Ipswich which is a massive shame. It's a sign of the times with the struggles going on."

The body Shop chain - which runs more than 200 shops including ones in Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds and Colchester - has brought in administrators FRP.

Thousands of jobs at the retailer now hang in the balance as the accountancy firm seeks a buyer for the business - but the move would give the stores "some breathing space", said Ms Squirrell who has worked with FRP.

"FRP will look to try and save as many of those stores as possible," she said. "I have a lot of faith in FRP so I have no doubt they will be doing the best they can with the Body Shop."

While Ipswich high street is suffering, it is no different to other towns, she added.

"I would not say Ipswich is any worse than anywhere else. It's still got a lot of promise - it's just we are seeing retailers suffer at the moment."

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External factors were to blame, she suggested. She shopped at Body Shop. "There are a lot of good businesses we are losing where people are still happy with it," she said.

"Unfortunately I do think there will be more," she added. "It's a massive shame, but certainly we are seeing a massive increase in this now."

She was hopeful the administrators would be able to save shops from closing.

But the high street was locked in a vicious cycle, she said. Landlords - which her law firm sometimes represented - became one of the parties affected when chains collapsed, she said.

"Whether it's chains or independents, they all seem to be suffering from the same issues. I think nowadays people do shop online more."

FRP said the move to place the retailer in administration "provides the stability, flexibility and security to find the best means of securing the future" of the chain.

It will "consider all options to find a way forward for the business" after years of financial struggles and amid a challenging backdrop for shoppers, it added.

"The Body Shop remains guided by its ambition to be a modern, dynamic beauty brand, relevant to customers and able to compete for the long term.

"Creating a more nimble and financially stable UK business is an important step in achieving this.

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"The Body Shop has faced an extended period of financial challenges under past owners, coinciding with a difficult trading environment for the wider retail sector."

The retailer was founded in 1976 by Anita Roddick and husband Gordon. The pair pioneered ethical consumerism with their cosmetics and skincare products. It was later sold and its founder died the following year.

European private equity firm Aurelius took control of the business on January 1.

It 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.