Retail tragedy: The UK's best loved shops that have disappeared

2018 marks the year we wave goodbye to a number of retail and restaurant brands, with the likes of Toys R Us, Maplin and Carpetright being just a few of the biggest names who are closing down.

Wednesday, 30th May 2018, 5:45 pm
Updated Wednesday, 30th May 2018, 5:47 pm
Woolworths, also known as Woolies, was best known for its pick 'n' mix sweets, school clothing and stationary stock

High street retail giants Debenhams and House of Fraser recently announced plans to close a number of their department stores resulting in hundreds of job losses, while eateries Prezzo and Jamie's Italian are also shutting some of their branches.

With online shopping and services such as Deliveroo and Just Eat providing consumers with a more convenient alternative to trawling the city centre streets, it's likely these won't be the last closures of 2018.

Here are a few other big brands we've bid farewell to over the years.

Sign up to our daily Harrogate Advertiser Today newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

British Home Stores was founded in 1928 and managed an impressive 88 years of trading


It was once one of the biggest retail chains in the UK but after running into financial difficulties, the company went into administration in 2005 with all but one of its 45 stores forced into closure.

The Croydon store continued trading until 2012 after it was purchased by Harold Tillman, owner of the fashion chain Jaegar, but it was later closed for good on 17 January 2013.


Allders department store closed down in 2005, after the company went into administration

Famed for its pick 'n' mix sweets, school clothing and stationary offering, Woolworths may have been a popular stop on the high street but it was forced into administration in 2008, after struggling with £385 million of debt.

Its 800 stores were closed down and more than 27,000 people lost their jobs.


It may now be considered old school, but heading out to rent a DVD on an evening was the thing to do before online streaming came about.

Renting videos, DVD and games is now a thing of the past, thanks to the rise of online streaming

It was once the place go for entertainment, but it met its demise in 2013 and its 528 stores are no more.


Opened in Liverpool 1856, Lewis's was a much loved department store and its flagship home store served as the location of the world's first Christmas grotto in 1879, entitled 'Christmas Fairyland'.

The company went into administration several times over the years, but it saw its final day on 29 May 2010 having been hit by the recession and been unable to compete with rival brands.

The British sports retailer met it end in 2012 after its share collapsed to 1.2 million


It managed an impressive 88 years of trading, but the clothing and houseware stores presence on the high street came to an end in 2016 having failed to meet competition posed by other brands.

However, a website is still up and running and offers plenty of bargain prices.

JJB Sports

The sports retailer was the place to go for all of the latest active wear and sport equipment, but it met its end in 2012 having dropped from being worth £500 million in 2010 to a mere £1.2 million just two years later.

Rival retailer, Sports Direct, bought the brand name, website and twenty stores in October 2012 for a cost of £28.3 million, saving around 550 jobs.


The electrical retailer saw its final day on 18 December 2012 after a long 79 years of trading.

Its 236 stores were closed and its bitter end cost the government around £49 million in redundancy payments.


It once boasted more than 100 stores around the UK, but the entertainment retailer - originally Virgin Megastore - vanished from the high street in 2009, although its website is still up and running today.


Having suffered from competition posed by online retailers and cut-price supermarkets, Borders bookshop met its last chapter in 20009, with financial difficulties leading to the closure of its 45 UK stores.