High street chains that won't go pop

John Lewis? Maybe?


The two geezers at my local station who do reasonably priced shoe repairs.  Ok they're not really a chain but they're a high street shop.

I can see Boots going under, as they get undercut by the supermarkets.

Cookie’s Cookies

Coming to a high street near you.

Purveyors of the finest baked goods known to them.

But Boots sell loads of brands you cant get in the supermarkets.

i read somewhere that John Lewis has the biggest online shop in UK ( presumably not as much market share as amazon) it might well disappear from the high st but not online. It can continue to deliver via waitrose as well as deliveries.

Specsavers, Sainsburys, Waitrose, Tesco, Marks & Spencer ( food hall shops)

I love John Lewis.  I had a very enjoyable afternoon at Peter Jones on Sunday.

Minkie, whenever I visit the family seat OOP north, I deliberately buy stuff from Boots (which I love too) to ensure that they stay there.

JL is the favourite shop of people with money - so it might stop growing but it wont go bust.

I love JL, tbh it’s an achievement to be able to shop there with impunity where I’m from. 

Specialist stores are the answer. We have a guitar shop here in Guildford called Andertons. Famous around the world. The guys there know everything. Staff vacancies are sought after. I'd guess they're profitable to say the least.

I don't think the owner wants to open any new stores. He doesn't have to these days. They have a big online presence. And a brand name. Famous musicians drop by on a regular basis.

Same could maybe apply to other types of retail.


Chambo you know the Stranglers were at the Star last week, unveiling a plaque? 

Chambers, that is a niche product I dare say with a great following. However the  independent pizza/burger joint trying to muscle in on the fast food market is going to struggle.


There is a 1500 square foot restaurant space in Merton, ( which remains unoccupied) the quoting rent is £22k PCM, plus rates I would imagine. I don't know what these independents are thinking. That is  a lot of pizzas, and burgers to break even, just to stand still. If the conglomerates like Pizza express cannot make it, I don't see how a 2 store burger joint can. Maybe wrong though.

That Stranglers plaque has been in The Star for some years my friend

Also there's the ACM (Academy of Contemporary Music) just around the corner. Ed Sheeran and many more.

They converge on Andertons.


I doubt the profits that specialist stores, often family owned, are grateful for would satisfy PE owners of chains btw. 

"The Stranglers plaque has been in The Star for some years, my friend"

Someone should have told them then. They could have saved a journey   

They were there to promote themselves BC, the plaque wasn't new. Also to promote live music at The Star, which I agree with. Nimby local residents I'm afraid.

I saw RoF's own Cern performing there, going back some years. Good keyboard player. Of course I went up and had a chat with him afterwards, very nice bloke,.

Another one lost to RoF now.

No, youngish lawyer who played keyboards as a hobby and some spare cash, he was, probably still is, a very good player.

Funny, I said 'Hi, I'm Chambers from RoF' He took a couple of steps back, then chilled. You need a guitar player? I asked, but we kind of lost touch.

Let's play a game of what would Chambo play???

It would need a riff for sure.  but you would need the right era.  I am going for Jonny B Goode (my alternative would be phantom of the opera using a coke bottle for the slide scaĺes).  

Seems to me specialist stores are disappearing - they tended to have huge catchment areas and people don't bother making the special journey if they can get online

John Lewis survives by charging a premium over purely online sellers and gets away with it by investing so much in stores and customer service making visiting a good experience rather than a chore - investment the other department stores did not make - to their cost. 

The reason I shop at John Lewis is the fact they have enough stores that I can do click and collect and always be within a reasonably short journey of a shop to collect stuff.

I reckon John Lewis  will go to the wall this year. The rebrand is dreadful. Their new bags look like tatty old rubbish before you've legft thsop as the print rubs off.  Their focus on 'experience'  to compete with "mini-breaks, gym classes and nights out." is ludicrous in my view. 

I agree. I got cross with a woman in JL just before christmas and said "this is why I normally go to Amazon!!" and she got tears in her eyes.

Place is fucked.

will probably go like habitat and keep the london ones

John Lewis are toast I reckon at least outside London. Peter Jones and maybe a handful of others might survive.

I suspect pretty much every shop on the high street that sells anything other than clothes is a dead business walking tbh. Someone needs to find a new model for clothes shopping online before high street clothes shops will die I think. 

JL has a very loyal rural following and my mum used to drive an hour to get to the local one until they opened one rather closer.  Apart from possibly Tesco it's the only shop within a 20 minute drive of where I grew up where you can do click and collect on the whole range of household equipment.

The thing that has annoyed me more than anything in recent visits to John Lewis, is not being able to buy something in the shop that the have on display because they had no stock and instead being asked to order it online and come back the next day to collect it. I've ended  up ordering it online at argos or amazon instead.

If anything I'd suggest JL will reduce its in town stores but keep the more rural ones.

I reckon JL will be ok, even in my “region” the two that I go to are rammed any time of the day or night and I think that a lot of (relatively monied) people go there instead of the rest of the high street.

That's basically my point.  Plenty of people where I grew up would drive half an hour to Waitrose rather than going to the Tesco in the village that you can walk to.

No-one has listed any clothes shops. Ultimately there will always be a need for high street clothes shops, the only ones going under are those hopelessly out of date or else selling tat people can buy for cheaper online. 

Ditto specialist food stores, butchers, fishmongers, cheese shops etc. 

Outdoor shops, bike shops etc will always have a need. 

I would be gutted if JL in Cardiff disappeared.

And Sails is right. We often drive 20 mins to the nearest Waitrose rather than go to the much nearer Tesco.

Clotheswise debenhams, new look and next r all fckd.  i wouldnt back tesco or waitrose tbh.

Next is basically an online store already and will probably just retreat from the high street.  They have done a much better job of going online than other clothes retailers.

Wilf I very rarely ever shop for clothes in an actual shop.  Once I've bought one thing from a brand and know their sizing I just buy it all online and that goes for most of my outdoor technical clothing too.

"Next is basically an online store already and will probably just retreat from the high street.  They have done a much better job of going online than other clothes retailers."

The reason for that is that back in the day, they were largely a mail order company - I remember the arrival of the Next Directory, in the post was a moderately big event...

John Lewis are ace.  

And in bad times, they just dial down the bonus to staff, stop recruiting and survive.  

The wonders of employee-owned businesses.  

Next has definitely gone back to being mail order - in my local one there is one till to collect online orders and its always bloody heaving - the rest of the store is empty/terrible

went into Debenhams for the first time in months recently and was shocked at the decline - they have basically given up already

I reckon Argos might get into trouble - my local one has moved into Sainsburys but they have less warehouse space and a lot of stuff is now collect after 4pm which totally defeats the point of the place

and yes even clothes and shoe shops will disappear with better virtual modelling etc or whatever it's called

basically the high street will be only coffee shops and charity shops

Shoes are different as the fit can vary so much that I very rarely buy shoes without trying them on first.

dont forget bookies and pound shops.


oh soz lol@u poundworld

To be honest I think a lot of shops will be turned back to housing in time.

No way is Debenhams surviving - you either have to be dirt cheap like Primark or a bit upmarket and offer a decent experience - Debenhams doesn't do either.  HoF used to do the latter but is going to need to transform itself pdq to survive.  JL seem to have it more or less right.

We should also add blacks (actually do they still exist?) and mountain warehouse (actually do they still exist).  

also WH Smith has fought a bold defence.  the stoke city of the crap sationery and maybe an OK market.

I think it's Blacks just round the corner from my office and despite being huge it never seems to have the things that I'm after.  They seem to stock things aimed at a very specific type of rambler.

I also don't see a  future for Tescos and Sainsburys- again the  middle market is being squeezed - people either want cheap - Aldi Lidl Asda or an upmarket experience -Waitrose M&S food.  They may yet transform themselves but otherwise long term they are doomed.

Yeah I think any speciality chain like Blacks or Mountain Warehouse is fvcked. See also the likes of Evans (which Ashley now owns possibly after a cva I can’t remember) and runners need. 

Have to say I was surprised at house of Fraser but think that’s because I live near a good one that is surviving. A lot were like glorified Debenhams (which Ashley is also after)

Tesco looking to sack all their butchers and fishmongers etc and shut their fresh fish/meat and deli counters. 

I was in a meeting the other week where HoF came up and none of us could remember havingb been in one since about 1987

How the fuck WH Smith is going I have no idea . There was a huge one in my neck of the woods, I visited it once in 20 years. It is now a metro bank 

WH Smith's only redeeming grace is it's about the only place where you can buy the printed copy of Yacthing World without having to order it.

Macdonalds can't go pop because in the uk, 50% at least of the stores are franchised.  Individual stores may not be profitable (case in point the old Penzance store) so they get shut down by the franchisee who looks for a better site.  (Case in point it is now a dominos and the new business park has a drivethru macdonalds instead - but never eat there, I worked at that store when they were on their annual party and me and my mate reckoned the grill  had -never- been cleaned,  we had to use knives to chip the charcoal off in order to clean it).


Sails, I do not think that amounts to a sustainable business model.

KFC, is on thin ground I reckon, I ocasionally eat it after a heavy late drinking session, but have you ever been served hot chicken. Me, no, it is always luke warm at best.

The one in New Malden was closed down for a few weeks, as it's hygenie and kitchen were on inspection found to be so poor, it was closed down the same day.

Erm, KFC has been dodgy since it opened what 50 years ago? 

Again, really? From back in the day it was hot chicken. I suspect the franchise model put paid to that.

A good mate, once saw a delivery van full of KFC chicken being delivered. The driver went in to said store, whilst a stray dog proceeded to piss in the van , which was full of said chicken waiting to be delivered. He has since never been able to eat KFC. I do not blame him.

No high street shop is immune from the migration to online shopping. HMV’s flagship store in Oxford Street seems to have shut down, joining Patisserie Valerie over the road.