It’s been a huge part of our British high street for 88 years, but it has now been announced that British Home Stores has gone into liquidation. All 163 stores look set to close after rescue attempts to save the store fail. The closure of the once popular chain of stores is the biggest blow to the high-street since Woolworths closed it’s doors in 2008.
BHS first opened in Brixton in 1928, when nothing in the store cost more than a shilling (5p). Since then, it has gone on to become one of the best-loved department stores in the UK, stocking everything from lingerie to fashion and homewares. If the store is to disappear entirely, it will be the biggest name to leave the high street since Woolworths in 2008.
With this, and the news that Austin Reed also now looks set to file for administration, we look back at the stores that have left the high street, but will always be remembered fondly…
Oh, that Pick ‘n’ Mix! We were devastated when ‘Woolies’ closed down in 2008, and our British high street still doesn’t feel quite the same. Those closing down sales were pretty great though, and gave the high street store its single great day of takings on 27th December, when they made a bittersweet £27 million on 5th December.
Remember when a weekend treat meant renting a VHS and indulging in a box of Milk Tray? Before we had Netflix, we had Blockbuster – and what a treat it was. Sadly, the brand closed for good in 2013, and now we settle for marathon sessions of series’ via streaming services instead.
Fashion store C&A closed back in 2000, and afterwards Primark bought 11 of the stores. A British staple, the shop was referenced in The Specials’ music and on Only Fools And Horses.
Although still available online, Littlewoods closed 119 of its stores in 2005, and 40 were sold to Primark.
Although technically now still sold as part of River Island’s offering, Chelsea Girl was the store to be seen in for anyone growing up in the sixties and seventies.
Richard Branson’s rival to HMV was once a high street favourite, with a huge megastore on Oxford Street often frequented by celebs for signings (and screaming girls, of course). Sadly, the digital world meant that the store struggled, and Virgin Megastores are no more.
Before Morrisons was Safeway – the supermarket to shop at. By 2014 though, competition meant that most of the stores were bought out and turned into the Morrisons that we know today.
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