Top ten brands which have vanished from the British High Street in the last decade

THE British high street has taken a battering this decade.

It feels like every few weeks a new household-name brand is going into administration – so here’s the top ten who ceased to exist this decade.

 Here are the top ten brands that disappeared from our high streets this decade


Here are the top ten brands that disappeared from our high streets this decadeCredit: Rex Features

From BHS to Blockbuster, it feels like our high street is disappearing in front of our eyes.

The rise of online shopping has signalled the death of the high street – and it’s not pretty.

Even though internet bargain-hunting is much worse for the environment, you can’t try anything on and you don’t get that instant gratification of taking your new purchase home with you, the allure of not having to lug a load of shopping bags onto the bus is winning us over.

Here we take a look back at the top ten brands we lost this decade.

1. Toys R Us

 The store closed it's doors in 2019


The store closed it’s doors in 2019Credit: EPA

The toy colossus had been going for  34 years when it closed its doors in April 2018.

At the time, retail expert Kate Hardcastle said: “It was heartbreaking, because consumers absolutely want to buy the best brand toys for their children.

“Toys R Us had huge unnecessary warehouses and they could have repurposed that for experiences, but they just missed the mark completely.”

She added that UK High Street suffers because retailers don’t bother to refresh stores.

It could be because big retailers don’t feel the need to compete. hence what Kate dubs a “second-rate retail experience”.

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2. Borders

 The book chain succumbed to changing markets


The book chain succumbed to changing marketsCredit: PA:Press Association

Borders – a book shop – folded on 2009, with its US branches folding two years later.

The store was a real book worm’s paradise, it offered a coffee shop where you could sit back and enjoy your new read.

The company blamed the closure on a declining book market, with more people  choosing to purchase books from supermarkets and with the kindle busting onto the market in 2007.

3.  BHS

 British Home Stores is a household name


British Home Stores is a household nameCredit: Benjamin John

Poor old British Home Stores closed its doors for good in 2016, despite months-long efforts to secure a rescue deal and a guerilla campaign to save it.

The high street Goliath had been running for a whopping 88 years by the time they sold their last frock.

The 163 store-strong chain had been overcome with £1.3 billion worth of debt, including £571 million in pension defect.

Before its closure, BHS had been many Brits’ go-to for clothes and home ware – but they lost out on consumers for catering more to an elderly market, critics said.

4. Staples

 The stationary giant lost out to 'friendlier' competitors


The stationary giant lost out to ‘friendlier’ competitorsCredit: Rex Features

Stationary giant, Staples disappeared from the high street three years ago.

Bosses had planned to overcome millions of pounds worth of debt by merging with their American cousin, office depot but the scheme fell through.

It’s thought the retailer lost out to competitors with friendlier environments.

5. Blockbuster

 Blockbuster was an icon of the nineties


Blockbuster was an icon of the ninetiesCredit: PA:Press Association

Anyone who lived through the nineties of early 2000s will have fond memories of Blockbuster.

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The brand surprisingly went bust in 2013 after a long struggle with easily accessible digital movie streaming sites like Netflix.

Across the UK today, the off Blockbuster store still stands as a staunch reminder of a time when you couldn’t view any movie with the click of a button.

Only store remains open today in Oregon, America.

6. Maplin

 Maplin still exists online


Maplin still exists onlineCredit: Reuters

Maplin was one of Britain’s biggest electrical shops, established in 1976.

The gadget store boasted 217 locations across the UK and sold everything, from games consoles to secuirty cameras.

But it went under in 2018, having been hit by the slump in the British Pound following the 2016 Brexit referendum.

However, the shop still exists online.

7. Tie Rack

 Ties just aren't that trendy trendy any more, critics say


Ties just aren’t that trendy trendy any more, critics sayCredit: Alamy

The shop dedicated to neck-accessories went under in 2013.

It was praised for its convenience and thought to exemplify the entrepreneurial spirit of the 1980s.

The shop’s locations in airports and train stations were presumably so high-flying business-types could pop in at any given occasion and don a fancy new tie.

But the brand’s closure was put down to the rise of the online market and a decline younger generation’s enthusiasm for ties.

8. Poundworld

 Other retailers offered the same thing


Other retailers offered the same thingCredit: Splash News

Poundworld closed down in June 2018, following competition from similar retailers.

Over 5,000 employees lost their jobs.

The close-knit locations of similar stores – offering similar things at exactly the same price – is what led to the brand’s demise.

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9. Barratts

 The shoe shop folded in 2013


The shoe shop folded in 2013Credit: EPA

Barratts, a shoe retailer was founded in Northampton way back in 1903.

The shop was popular with mums and dads, as it offered school shoes at a cheaper price than rival, Clarkes.

But the chain went into administration in 2013, after three previous scares.

However, they still exist online.

10. Phones4U

 Despite the memorable ad, the phone shop folded


Despite the memorable ad, the phone shop foldedCredit: Getty – Contributor

Phones4U collapsed in 2014 with over £200million in debts.

Critics say the closure was down to a failure to secure coverage deals with brand  providers as EE and Vodafone pulled out of negotiations to agree fresh contracts.

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Despite the memorable ads, critics say they “scared off” customers with their direct selling methods.


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