Which UK high street shops have closed down? Full list of shops

Which UK high street shops have closed down? Full list of shops

The Body Shop UK is set to appoint an administrator just months after it was taken over by the private equity company Aurelius.

The skincare and cosmetics company was founded in 1976 by the late Dame Anita Roddick. It was bought by Aurelius just weeks ago for £207 million.

Aurelius confirmed that it has appointed FRP Advisory to take over The Body Shop, after the chain failed to make decent sales over Christmas.

FRP Advisory will handle the restructuring process and, with around 200 outlets across the UK,  the move could put thousands of jobs at risk.

The Body Shop said in a statement: “Administrators will now consider all options to find a way forward for the business and will update creditors and employees in due course."

“The business will continue to trade in administration,” it added, "ensuring customers will be able to continue to shop in-store and online for their favourite products.”

The Body Shop stores across the country will continue to be open while the firm undergoes the administration process.

Last year, several big-name retailers and businesses announced closures of stores across the UK, including Boots and Tesco.

Other previously loved chains such as Wilko had announced they have (mostly) stopped trading in a blow to high streets.

Here are some of the movers and shakers on the high street from this year.

Gone for good?


The budget homeware chain closed all 400 of its shops, the last shutting its doors on October 8. Another 10 former stores have opened under the Poundland brand, after the company took on the leases of 71 Wilko stores. The chain struggled in the economic climate and had borrowed £40 million to stay afloat.

However, Wilko made a triumphant return to the high street, opening its first two locations at Plymouth and Exeter in December. Earlier this month, they announced plans to reopen stores in St Albans and Rotherham in spring 2024. The chain also plans to reopen 300 stores across the UK this year.


While it is set to trade within supermarkets, the catalogue-order service has said it will no longer exist as a standalone shop. Around 430-460 Argos counters are set to be inside Sainsbury’s shops by next spring.

Boots is closing shops (PA)
Boots is closing shops (PA)

Closing some units


The retailer will be closing around 300 of its shops across the country as it drops from 2,200 units to 1,900, despite seeing a boost in sales.


The hardware shop closed three centres in November and December. The DIY chain is one of the biggest in the country, with more than 150 stores.


Having closed 17 stores throughout 2023, the frozen-food retailer will shut two more on October 28.

Sports Direct

The sports chain will close a branch in Coventry this month. The retailer also announced that another store would be closing permanently in early 2024.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Frasers Group said: "It is with regret that we announce Sports Direct Swindon in Orbital Shopping Park will be closing early 2024.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank our staff for their hard work and dedication.

"Where possible, we are committed to finding new roles within the group for staff."


The food-retail giant permanently shut down Mount Pleasant Tesco Express, in Liverpool, on November 15 last year.

The Empire Cinemas chain has collapsed into administration (Alamy / PA)
The Empire Cinemas chain has collapsed into administration (Alamy / PA)

Are other sectors closing units?

It’s not just chain shops that are going but also restaurants and some entertainment venues.

Cineworld is closing its venue in Hengrove Leisure Park, South Bristol, while Empire Cinemas previously announced it had entered administration, with eight of its 13 multiplexes closing, including the branches in Haymarket and Walthamstow.

JD Wetherspoon has said another 22 pubs are at risk of closure after 28 recent closures.