Back in the day, the only way you could see a film was to catch it at the cinema, get it on DVD/VHS or wait for it to come out on TV. You might not want to buy a DVD you’d only watch once, so DVD rental places were a great way to watch a bunch of different films without breaking the bank.
Then it became easy to stream videos online, and the idea of going to a shop just to pick up a DVD you’d then have to return seemed absolutely barbaric. Also, some people might have forgotten to take their DVD’s back and racked up a huge fine, meaning they could never return.
The affordable French fashion shop came with Tammy Girl, a fashion ranged aimed at pre0teen girls. While you’ll be hard-pressed to find a physical Etam store in the UK it can still be found as an online retailer.
3. Gadget Shop
Once belonging to The Entertainer the gadget shop was full of bizarre electronic tat you absolutely didn’t need. It was bought by WHSmith, and while you can get some of its items in WH Smith, it’s mostly just an online shop now.
A fancier kind of footwear store. The shops were removed and taken over by Clarks, but you can still shop Ravel online.
The only place worth going if you wanted sparkly handbags and strappy party dresses. It died in 2006, but you can sometimes find pieces from there in House of Fraser
Another shop that now only exists online. The physical stores closed down in 2005, with 40 of 119 outlets being sold to Primark.
7. Past Times
Existing between 1987 and 2013, Past Times sold items like vintage parasols and victorian photo frames. They were mostly bought as gifts.
An electrical retailer that was once more popular than Currys and Dixons. It eventually fell out of popularity and faded from memory.
It vanished in 2005 and many of the shops were taken over by Morrisons, but we’ll always have a soft spot in our heart for Safeway.
At its peak Borders had 41 shops in the UK. It may not seem like much but it was 8% of the retail bookselling market. They often also included a Paperchase and a Starbucks. They went into administration and closed in late 2009.
11. Chelsea Girl
Now absorbed into River Island, which has a small Chelsea Girl capsule collection.
12. Focus Do It All
Focus was once a competitor to B&Q and Homebase, but the iconic blue and yellow signs vanished in 2011.
13. Julian Graves
A shop that sold snacks that seemed healthy but probably weren’t. JG was the place to go for dried fruit, salted nuts and everything coated in yoghurt. Sure there’s Holland and Barratt now, but the snacks there are actually pretty healthy.
14. MK One
A company that had been struggling to keep afloat since the 80’s, this reasonably priced retailer was closed for good in 2009,
15. Our Price
A chain of record stores that started in London’s Finchley road in 1971. It was at one point the UK’s second largest retailer of records and tapes but was sold to Virgin in August 2000 and after a failed run of rebranding and sales was finally ended in 2004.
16. Virgin Megastores
Running from 1971 to 2007, these stores were purchased by Zavvi just before the company went under in 2009.
The greatest shop of our childhoods, we all regret the loss of the pick and mix. It closed its doors in 2009 and we’ve missed it ever since.