The Top 5 retailers that have left a hole in the High Street and our hearts
Sometimes it’s not until something disappears that you realise how much you liked it, or even, relied on it. And a new study has revealed just that by compiling a list of the High Street stores that we pine for the most since they shut their doors.
Raisin UK analysed the search volume and social media engagement with some of our favourite High Street brands to find out which ones we really do miss – and who we miss the most.
Taking the top spot with 57% of people reacting sadly to the news of the brand’s collapse, is Debenhams, which closed earlier in 2021.
It was announced in December 2020 that the giant of the High Street was set to close after last-ditch efforts to rescue the troubled store chain failed, after ending up in administration for the second time in a year.
Debenhams sold a range of goods from clothing to household items and furniture. There is some good news for Debenhams fans however. Online giant, Boohoo, has snapped up their online operations to bring Debenhams back online. Debenhams has also started rehiring to open a flagship store in an attempt to bring Debenhams back to the British High Street!
So, what else do we miss?
Woolworths is another long-lost love. In 2009, the chain’s final 199 shopfronts in market towns across the UK closed for good.
Woolworths – or Woolies, as it was fondly called – was the go-to place for just about everything you needed, from its famous pick ’n’ mix and racks of CDs to household appliances and kids’ clothes, it was a real High Street heavy-lifter.
Rumours of its return in 2020 saw a spike in people searching for Woolworths on Google and Twitter, but sadly the rumour turned out to be a hoax. However with 44% of people talking about the topic on social media saying that they loved the news about the return of the brand, it proves Woolworths still holds a special place in many a heart.
Another big loss to the High Street came in 2016 when BHS – or British Home Stores – closed.
The news was not met well with 51% of people reacting angrily to the collapse of the brand, which was part of the Arcadia Group. All BHS stores closed by late August 2016 with the rest of the Arcadia Group suffering the same fate in 2021, leading to the loss of Topshop, Burton and more. These brands were later moved online and bought by ASOS and Boohoo, while the BHS brand was later bought and now operates online selling ceiling lighting.
2020 saw another High Street stalwart leaving us missing their presence as Mothercare closed.
The must-go for parents across the UK, Mothercare’s closure unsurprisingly saw 55% of people reacting sadly to the brand’s collapse announcement on social media.
The company, which opened its first store in 1961, had frequently struggled to compete with cheaper supermarket clothing ranges and the rise of online shopping.
Mothercare has since completed a franchise deal with Boots, meaning the pharmacy chain can now sell Mothercare-branded products within Boots stores, allowing the brand to return to the high street.
Rounding out the Top 5 is a store that invokes a lot of nostalgia – Blockbuster.
The TV, film and game rental store collapsed into administration back in 2013 leading to the closure of 528 stores. Like several other brands, including Jessops, HMV and Comet, Blockbuster was massively affected by online competition.
Despite the nostalgia and remaining love for the store – there are 3.6k searches every month for the brand – a return to the glory days of Blockbuster is highly unlikely. The nature of how we now consume TV and film has changed radically with online streaming services our new go-tos.