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International Business Times UK
International Business Times UK
Danielle Summer

Which UK High Street Shops Will Close In 2024?

According to the British Retail Consortium, 6,000 retail outlets have closed since 2018. Photo: AFP / Tolga AKMEN

Last year, more than 2,000 high street shops closed for good. This year, brands have already announced their planned store closures for 2024.

According to the British Retail Consortium, 6,000 retail outlets have closed since 2018.

In 2024, small businesses and big brands are still facing the financial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ukraine-Russia conflict and inflation.

With pressures on energy and food prices, amid labour shortages and post-pandemic recovery, the UK has been thrust into a cost-of-living crisis that, according to the Big Issue, left around 4.2 million children living below the poverty line.

Considering the most common reason that a small business will fail is due to a lack of funding, the COVID-19 lockdown killed thousands of small businesses.

While smaller businesses were the most impacted by the pandemic, a number of prestigious companies also went bust in 2020 – including the shoe company Oliver Sweeney Group and retail giant Cath Kidston.

In recent years, the cost-of-living crisis also forced big brands, like Topshop and Debenhams, to disappear from Britain's high streets.

With some companies closing to prioritise expansion elsewhere and others shutting their stores due to bankruptcy, the UK can expect to see a mass increase of empty store-fronts.

Helen Dickinson, the Managing Director of the British Retail Consortium, blamed the high street closures on the current "crippling" business rates and the long-lasting financial impacts of the COVID-19 lockdowns.


Last year, 300 Boots stores were closed. But, as the pressure on the UK economy continues, the pharmacy chain announced that another string of stores would also be disappearing throughout 2024.

Boots said that in order to "consolidate the business", almost 20 stores will close in the south of England.


Wetherspoons, known for its extremely cheap prices and boozy student nights, said that it will be closing some 20 stores across the UK.

After closing a staggering 41 locations in 2023, the pub giant listed several Spoons that are still up for sale or 'under offer'. The locations included Cardiff, London, Battersea, Swindon, Middlesbrough and Sevenoaks.

According to Wetherspoons, roughly 28 of its 827 locations have already closed, but a further 22 are under still threat.

"As a result of a continued improvement in sales and a slightly reduced expectation for cost increases, for example, energy costs, the company anticipates an improved outcome for the next financial year," said Tim Martin, the Chairman of Wetherspoons.


Argos also announced several store closures in 2024, despite already announcing its plans to close around 100 stores by April this year.

The mass closure comes as part of an expansion of Argos products being sold in Sainsbury's stores.

Sainsbury's, which owns Argos and Habitat, said that it had already closed at least 45 Argos branches in the second half of 2023.

According to Sainsbury's, the supermarket intends to have between 430 and 460 Argos counters inside its stores by March 2024.

According to the supermarket, known for its orange labels and 'taste the difference' slogan, it has already opened 25 Argos branches inside Sainsbury's stores across the UK.


The British retailer, Flannels, announced that its store in Market Place Shopping Centre in Bolton would be closing this year.

While only one Flannels store will be shutting its doors for good, the closure still comes as a shock considering the Bolton store only opened in August last year.

A spokesperson for Frasers Group, which owns Flannels, explained in a statement: "It is with regret that we announce Flannels Bolton will be closing in 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 spokesperson continued.

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