Once a leading UK electrical retailer among the ranks of Currys and Dixons, Rumbelows’ eventual demise in 1995 had been a long time coming. At the time its final 285 stores closed, the company had been making an annual loss of £12 million.
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Ex-footwear giant Freeman, Hardy & Willis had seen more than 100 years’ trading before ceasing business in 1999. The transformation of the footwear market, with changing fashions and increased foreign imports, contributed to the company’s closure. However, you can still find remnants of mosaics bearing the brand name in some cities.
Electronics retailer Tandy waved goodbye to 28 years’ UK trading back in 2001, shortly after being bought by Carphone Warehouse. The company, which started life as a leather goods seller in the United States and went into electronics in 1963, still sells products online at tandyonline.com.
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Dewhurst is a former UK butchers’ chain which, in its heyday, dominated the market, owning 1,400 stores across the country. While rising rent and energy costs eventually spurred closure in 2006, the brand remains fondly in the memories of many – ranking the third ‘most missed’ UK retailer in a YouGov survey.
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Formerly Virgin Megastores, which was part of Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, entertainment chain Zavvi entered administration in 2008 and closed its stores in January 2009. HMV subsequently purchased some of the stores and reopened them with its name over the doors.
Previously one of the market-leading electrical brands in the UK, Maplin announced it would be going into administration in February 2018, with the falling pound and a lack of consumer confidence post-Brexit hitting the business hard. With the last store closing its doors in June, the retailer was forced to let go of over 2,300 staff.
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The budget retailer was forced to close 335 stores for good on 10 August 2018, after struggling against tough competition from rival discount stores such as Poundland and Poundstretcher. This comes after the company fell into administration just a month earlier, on 11 July, and administrators Deloitte was unable to find a buyer. In total the closures resulted in more than 5,000 job losses.
The US toy giant closed all its UK stores after failing to find a buyer for them. Online competition hit the retailer hard and the closure of its remaining stores, which numbered 105 at the peak of its success over here, led to the loss of around 2,000 jobs.