Revealed: the top 5 most missed shops from Liverpool’s high street - including Blockbuster and Woolworths

A new study has unearthed which retailers Liverpool misses the most.

Liverpool’s city centre has changed massively over the years with a host of new retailers appearing in the city’s expanding shopping districts, while some familiar brands have disappeared.

Those that have fallen by the wayside can hold dear memories and are quite often our first employers.

It’s not until they close the shutters for the final time that we realise what a fixture they were on the high street.

A new study by Raisin UK has analysed the search volume and social media engagement with some of our favourite brands to find out which ones we really do miss the most.

Woolworths, which closed back in 2009 (and where this writer had his first Saturday job), has been number one for years, but now there is a new name in top spot.

So get ready for a little bit of nostalgia as we analyse the past of Liverpool’s high streets.

5. Blockbuster - closed in 2013

It’s been almost a decade since the last Blockbuster closed its doors but it maintains a place on the nostalgia list.

Those of us of a certain age will remember spending hours walking up and down the aisles, reading the back of every video or DVD case trying to pick a selection to rent.

It collapsed into administration back in 2013 after being terminally affected by online competition.

Could we ever see a return of Blockbuster? Sadly, probably not. With online streaming services such as Netflix and Disney Plus, a revival of Blockbuster would be for pure nostalgia and zero convenience.

But with 3,600 searches every month for the brand, it’s clear to see we have never forgotten them!

4. Mothercare - closed in 2020

Mothercare was a huge part of many parent’s lives as the go to store when a new baby popped into the world.

So, it’s no surprise that 55% of people engaged with a sad reaction to the announcement of the brand’s collapse on social media.

In November 2019, Mothercare announced it was to close it’s UK business after calling in administrators. The company, which opened its first store in 1961, had frequently struggled to compete with cheap supermarket clothing ranges and the rise of online shopping.

Mothercare had a spot on Parker Street in Liverpool city centre but the last one to close in the region was the superstore at Aintree Retail Park, which ceased trading in 2020 after the brand went bust.

3. BHS - closed in 2016

British Home Stores, or BHS, was a fixture on Lord Street in the city centre for many years until it closed in 2016. It’s now a H&M store.

With 51% of people reacting angrily to the collapse of the brand, blame was certainly pointed at Sir Philip Green’s management of the group.

BHS was part of the Arcadia Group and was sold for £1 in March 2015. All BHS stores closed by late August 201 in the biggest retail collapse after Woolworths.

The department store was a huge part of the British highstreet and was hugely missed as many largest retail units in city centres were left empty.

2. Woolworths - closed in 2009

Liverpool was the home of the very first Woolworths store in the UK, which opened on Church Street in 1909. This particular outlet closed in the 1980s, and later become an entrance to Liverpool ONE.

But the store that lasted until the collapse of Woolworths in 2009 is in St John’s Shopping Centre, which is now an Aldi.

The only real way to describe Woolworths is Poundland with a lot more ambition. Where else would you go if you needed a bag of pick ‘n’ mix, a wardrobe of children’s clothes and a new CD?

Woolworths became a hot topic after a rumour in 2020 of an imminent return got people searching for the brand on Google and Twitter. Sadly, this rumour turned out to be a hoax but the memories remain.

With 44% of people who reacted that they loved the news about the return of the brand on social media, it proves Woolies still has a place in all our hearts.

1. Debenhams - closed in 2021

Debenhams at Liverpool ONE. Image: Google

A key part of the high street, being one of the UK’s largest department store retailers, the Debenhams store at Liverpool ONE closed in May 2021 after selling off stock during a fire sale.

The three story building on Lord Street could now be converted into a leisure facility that includes a go-karting track after plans were given the green light earlier this year.

When it closed, 57% of people reacted sadly to news the brand’s collapse.

After landing in administration for the second time in a year, Debenhams suffered from the COVID-19 lockdowns.

Boohoo snapped up their online operations to bring Debenhams back online, selling a range of their usual concessions and beauty products.