Over the past few decades various shops have disappeared from British high streets, leaving thousands of workers looking for new jobs. Dozens of shops have disappeared from our high streets for various reasons; some are gone because they’ve been unable to compete with online shopping, while others have gone because consumers have found alternative, more convenient things to spend their money on. Marks and Spencer has recently announced the closure of 30 UK stores and could become the latest shop to disappear from our high streets altogether, just like these nine…
Known for its school supplies and pick ‘n’ mixes, if you were lucky to be a kid when Woolworths was around, you probably loved going there – it was a crying shame when it closed for good in 2009, with some 30,000 jobs lost.
After some 80 years doing trade, Comet folded in 2012, despite being the country’s second largest electronics business. It went into liquidation in 2011 and by the following year all of its shops had been closed, with 6,500 jobs lost.
Before we all enjoyed evenings of Netflix and chill, we would go to Blockbuster and rent out videos (remember them?) and then DVDs. Unfortunately, the company couldn’t keep up with people’s preferences for watching TV shows and movies online and disappeared from high streets in 2013.
4. Phones 4 U
Phones 4 U employed over 5,500 people but was forced to call it a day in September 2014 when its last contracts with Vodafone and EE weren’t renewed, as the phone companies wanted to focus on selling contracts online and through their own shops.
5. Virgin Megastores
2007 saw Virgin Megastores separate from the Virgin Group and rebrand itself as Zavvi. However, Zavvi’s supplier was Entertainment UK, which was owned by Woolworths, so when Woolworths went bust in 2009, so did Zavvi, which continues to operate online.
6. JJB Sports
It wasn’t such a disastrous end for JJB Sports: though it went bust and its shops closed, some of them, it was eventually bought out by Sports Direct and some of its shops became rebranded as Sports Direct.
In 2008 furniture shop MFI went under, with all of its stores closing. It was revived as an online brand in 2011, only to then go bust again four years later. Earlier in 2016, the brand was revived online yet again.
Earlier in 2016, the top department store chain with 164 branches throughout the UK went into administration and after attempts to find a buyer failed, it was announced all the company’s stores would close, some 88 years after the company first started trading.
Shoe chain Barratts was forced to close down in late 2013 after its owners had failed to pay a quarterly rent bill – the company had previously had numerous financial difficulties and while the stores have all been closed, the company’s website and brand have since been purchased by another retailer.