Retail closures: the UK's best loved high street stores lost over the years

High street department store House of Fraser has today been bought by Sports Direct for £90 million, after falling into administration.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 15th August 2018, 1:47 pm
Updated Thursday, 16th August 2018, 3:47 pm

While plans are still not clear, the move could see the 59 stores being re-branded as Sports Direct, marking another major retailer loss from the high street.

This year has also seen the loss of Toys R Us, Maplin and Carpetright among just a few of the biggest names to be closing down.

Department store Debenhams also announced plans this year to close down a number of their stores, along with Poundworld, while eateries Prezzo and Jamie's Italian are also shutting some of their branches.

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The UK has bid farewell to a number of big retail brands over the years

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.


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.

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

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.


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.


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

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.

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'.

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

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.


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 2009, with financial difficulties leading to the closure of its 45 UK stores.