Published On: Sun, Oct 29th, 2023

Store closures POLL: Which should return to the high street?

This weekend Boots, New Look and Clarks became the latest big-name retailers to close stores on the British high street as shopping habits shift online.

They join brands including Argos, Clintons and Iceland who have shut stores as part of scaling-back measures and the resulting impact of the pandemic and cost of living crisis.

Several iconic British institutions have disappeared over the last few decades leaving huge gaps in the retail market. Now wants to know which favourite you would like to see return.

Clothing giant C&A announced its withdrawal from the British market in 2000, closing down its 109 stores in 2001. The brand has been operating here since 1922 but struggled with competition from supermarket chains and other big-name retailers.

Woolworths was once a staple store on the high street, selling household items, groceries, clothing, toys and discounted essentials, until it fell into administration in 2008, with all 807 branches closing by January 2009.


The chain’s collapse symbolised the impact of the credit crunch and financial turmoil of the 2008 Recession. Virgin Megastores also fell victim to the economy with the chain, which was started out as a small record shop in 1971, forced to shut down its 125 stores in 2008, just a year after rebranding as Zavvi.

The high street has also seen the loss of department chain British Home Stores (BHS) which collapsed into administration in 2016 with failure to find a buyer ending BHS’ 88-year presence.

DVD and games rental chain Blockbuster is another classic store to have closed its doors for good with the last store closing in 2013 with Britons turned to online programming and streaming services.

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