WHICH retail giant do York shoppers miss the most?

For years the answer has been Woolworths, but a new survey has found that Debenhams is now number one in the nostalgic hearts of shoppers in York.

Savings solutions website Raisin.co.uk has looked at the ghost of the high street past and unearthed which retailers York misses the most.

Here are the findings:

1. Debenhams

York Press: Debenhams in DavygateDebenhams in Davygate

Fifty-seven per cent of people reacted sadly to the news of Debenham's collapse, showing we really did care about one of the biggest names on our high streets closing.

In December 2019, Debenhams closed its store in Davygate, York.

Its sister store at Monks Cross closed in May this year.

Following the announcement of the closure, the retailer’s website crashed for days as shoppers attempted to grab bargains, with some Debenhams stores reopening for a short period of time to clear stock.

Both stores in York remain unoccupied.

2. Woolworths

York Press: Woolworths in Coney StreetWoolworths in Coney Street

It was the end of an era when Woolworths closed its shop in Coney Street, York in 2008.

Three years earlier, it had also called time on its branch at Monks Cross.

The closures marked a change in our high street for ever. Where else would you find a bag of pick 'n’ mix, a wardrobe of children’s clothes and a new CD all under one roof?

Boots is now in the former Woolworths building in Coney Street

3. BHS - British Home Stores

York Press: BHS in Coney StreetBHS in Coney Street

All BHS stores closed by late August 2016. The rest of the Arcadia Group suffered the same fate as BHS in 2021 as they collapsed, leading to the loss of Topshop, Burton, Dorothy Perkins and more. These brands were later moved online and bought by ASOS and Boohoo. The BHS brand was later bought and now operates online selling ceiling lighting.

In 2020, Flannels and Sports Direct opened in the former BHS store in Coney Street.

4 Mothercare

York Press: Mothercare at Clifton MoorMothercare at Clifton Moor

Mothercare has been a huge retailer for parents across the UK, so it should come as no surprise that 55 per cent of people responded with a sad reaction to the announcement of the brand’s collapse on social media.

In November 2019, Mothercare announced it was to close its UK business after calling in administrators. Mothercare has since completed a franchise deal with Boots, meaning the pharmacy chain can now sell Mothercare-branded products within Boots stores. The Mothercare website has now also moved to the Boots website, allowing new parents to continue to purchase from the brand as usual.

Mothercare originally was at Clifton Moor Retail Park, but closed in favour of a new store at Monks Cross. The Monks Cross store opened in 2019 as part of the shopping park's refurbishment, but only stayed open for six months before the retailer collapsed.

5. Blockbuster

York Press: Blockbuster which closed in York in 2013Blockbuster which closed in York in 2013

Blockbuster, which rented movies and computer games, collapsed into administration in 2013 with the closure of 528 stores It joined several other brands including Jessops, HMV (which survived administration again and again and again) and electrical chain Comet in being affected by online competition.

Could we ever see a return of Blockbuster? Sadly, probably not, with the prominence of online streaming services such as Netflix. But with 3.6k searches every month for the brand, it’s clear to see we have never forgotten them!

The Blockbuster store on Haxby Road closed in 2013, and has later reopened as a local convenience store.

What stores do you miss? Share your memories in the comments below or in our nostalgia group on Facebook, Why We Love York - Memories. Click here to join today.