Whatever Has Happened to Retail?

An insight to the downfall of retail stores in 2020 and the rise of online shopping. What can we expect in the next few years?

Shamar M


Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Unsplash

When I was a kid I used to hate shopping. My mum would drag me around all the stores with her because I was too young to be home alone, and she would take FOREVER in a store (she still does). Fast forward to my adult years and now I love shopping. I love the excitement of getting into my car to go shopping and I love wasting precious time browsing the stores.

But where are the stores now? My high street has too much tumbleweed and too many ‘For Let’ signs now that three of our biggest retail stores have been shut down. A lot of the smaller, independent retail stores have followed suit and are indeed shut. Walking round my town centre now is a very sad, depressing and gloomy trip full of empty stores and just restaurants remaining.

We can blame 2020 for a lot of stores having to close due to the pandemic. Just like anything, how can you afford rent with no income? Sarah Butler from The Guardian records that a total of 11,120 chain stores closed between January — June 2020 compared to 3,509 in 2019.

Many companies have been gradually closing stores since 2019 and a few lucky companies have even managed to be bought out of administration, some even twice. Out of the 11,120 now closed chain stores, how many of them were big brand names?

Marks and Spencer

A well-known, posh supermarket which sells the best white chocolate cookies. Early 2019 it had closed 17 stores, 47 shops are currently closed and it plans to close 100 by 2022.


Debenhams has been on the verge of closing down stores for a long-time due to being on the brink of administration for the second time. In December 2020, it was announced that the chain had not been saved and 12,000 jobs were to be lost and 124 stores are set to close.

As of 25th January, the online fashion giant Boohoo has spent £55 million in rescuing Debenhams. However, they have taken the decision to shut all stores, cut approximately 10,000 jobs and move online. I do believe that this could happen a lot in…



Shamar M

27. Based in the UK. PG DIP HR Management. Chief of publication The First Time. Editor in About Me Stories.