Leeds is well known for shopping but over the last few years, the high street has lost a few gems.
Despite new shops and boutiques popping up, we all have memories of favourite stores now gone from the high street.
Unfortunately, the pandemic and lockdowns it brought with it has hit the retail industry hard, with big brand names going bust and stores closing their doors for the final time.
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And of course it’s not all about Covid – some big name brands were already distant memories long before the pandemic began.
Then there are the stores that many a Leeds teen flocked to in the nineties and noughties for those must-have fashions.
Which shops once in Leeds do you still miss? Let us know in the comments below.
Timberland, on Albion Street in Leeds city centre, closed in 2020. We brought you photos of the fixtures and fittings from the store being removed.
Timberland, which has branches across the country, is popular for its footwear, clothing and accessories.
Zaheer Abbas opened Next Level, a shop selling comic merchandise, in Queens Arcade in 2018 after four successful years trading online.
The 36-year-old, who owns the business with his mother, said they were unable to afford costly rent and business rates in the face of reduced footfall.
Often customers would browse inside the shop and then order a product online instead, added Zaheer.
He explained: “Arcade footfall has gone down and moved to the Trinity Centre. I think the council need to do more to advertise different parts of the city.
“Us independents are the heart of the city. If we all go it’s just going to be multi-nationals left. The Trinity Centre is great but there are not many independents there.”
Next Level continued as an online business.
There’s not one person who doesn’t hold fond memories of Woolworths which shut in 2008.
In the store you could literally buy everything from newspapers and pick ‘n’ mix sweets to toys, clothes and homeware.
The Woolworths stores in the Merrion Centre and in Pudsey have been replaced by B&M Bargain stores.
People of a certain age will remember lost clothes chain C&A which was in Boar, Lane, Leeds city centre, where Trinity Leeds now stands.
Although the fast-fashion shop closed in the UK, there are still thousands of shops around the world if you want a bit of nostalgia while you’re on holiday!
The Trespass shop, based in Commercial Street, closed in October 2020, with a closing down sale held before it shut its doors for the final time.
Many of you will remember the Dolcis store we used to have in the city centre – and probably had a nosy in the window at some of the fabulous shoes on offer!
Although the Leeds store closed when the company went into administration in 2007, they continue to operate online as part of the Jacobson Group family.
Before Decathlon came to Leeds, the building was home to department store British Home Stores (BHS).
First founded in the 1920s, the store used to sell clothes, household items and beauty products.
It closed for good in 2018.
Remember Tammy Girl? The store was where all the cool kids used to shop back in the 1990s.
It was the place to get camouflage clothing and sassy slogan tops.
The fashion shop was bought by BHS but sadly it disappeared off the high street after a few years in the early 2000s.
Zara Home closed in Leeds city centre in 2020 as its parent company responded to changes in the retail sector brought on by Covid-19.
It was based in Briggate and sold a wide range of homeware products. Last summer, the retailer, which has Zara clothes shops, announced plans to close some of its stores in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The move saw a firmer focus on online sales.
Most people will remember the Jane Norman bag craze that lasted a couple of years in the 2000s.
Anyone who was anyone would have their branded clothing or accessories, and proudly carry their PE kit to school in one of their famous bags, all string handles and bright colours.
They’re collector’s items now, as the company went into administration in 2011 shut for the last time in 2018.
The start of 2020 saw Leeds shoppers mourning the closure of Monsoon in Commercial Street.
Monsoon was known for its bold fashionable clothing catering to women and children.
When life returns to normality there’s no doubt the city centre will be different.
Tom Silk Menswear
Tom Silk Menswear, a fashion store closed in early 2020, leaving a vacant unit in the St Johns Shopping Centre.
The business was only open for three months, offering a wide range of the latest men’s fashions.
Another loss for Leeds city centre was the chocolate store on Commercial Street.
The store was shut in January 2020 but people can still buy their products from the store in White Rose Shopping Centre.
The national chain went into administration last year shortly after the pandemic hit.
Brighthouse offered domestic appliances and home electronics on a hire purchase arrangement but the chain, which also had stores in Cross Gates and in Bramley, has closed down.