With the announcement yesterday that old high street stalwart British Home Stores has gone into administration and today’s announcement regarding Austin Reed  we have taken a look back over the past 30 years to how our high streets have changed. The popularity of online shopping and the shifting trends in brand style coupled with a crippling recession has laid waste some real old favourites, See how many you remember, and how many you actually miss!


Woolworths Group PLC suspended its trading on the 26th of November 2008,with all 807 Woolworths stores closing between 27 December 2008 and 6 January 2009, resulting in 27,000 job losses. It was officially dissolved on 13 October 2015.


With the increasing popularity of online companies such as Netflix, the Blockbuster film rental business model was dealt a death blow and in December 2013 it finally closed its doors.

Past Times:

Originally founded in 1984 the ‘heritage brand’ was purchased by WH Smith in April 12th 2013 and announced to its 25,486 FaceBook followers that it was no longer trading.


Formed in 1933 as a business charging batteries for customers, Comet expanded during the 1960s and 1970s, and became a publicly listed company in 1972. However after a series of ownership changes the business could not be saved and entered administration in November 2012 with all of its stores being closed by mid December that year.

JJB Sports:

Sports fashion retailer JJB Sports  suspended share trading in September 2012 and called in the administrators. In October the same year it was announced that Sports Direct had purchased part of the business including 20 stores, the brand and its website for £28.3 million. source Wikipedia

Some of the others…

C & A and Littlewoods, John Collier, shoe shop chains including Freeman, Hardy & Willis, Barratts, Saxone and Leonards, Mountstevens bakery, outdoor goods retailer Blacks, Dewhursts butchers, Ratners, Sweater Shop, Index, Macfisheries, FineFare and International Stores,  Adams childrenswear….the list goes on and on – let us know about the ones we have missed in your High Street!

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