Throughout the years, numerous shops have made their mark on the city centre of Southampton, each with its own story of arrival and departure.

From iconic department stores to charming speciality boutiques, these shops have woven a rich tapestry of commerce within Southampton's city centre.

Each store holds a unique tale of business beginnings, successes, and farewells, leaving an indelible mark on the bustling retail scene.

These are just a few of the many long-lost city centre stores we miss the most:


In the autumn of 1936, a shop opened its doors in Southampton, only to be tragically destroyed during an air raid on a fateful night in November 1940.

For the following seven years, patrons of C&A were left without their beloved store.

Upon its return, the new establishment stood proudly across from the Civic Centre, a short stroll away from the former Hants and Dorset bus station.


Spanning more than 20,000 square feet, the store was staffed by a team of 80 dedicated individuals.

From the moment its expansive glass-fronted arcades extended beneath the sheltered facade, the recently opened store captivated its clientele, leading to the swift addition of a men's department.

Despite maintaining its popularity among shoppers, the store shut its doors for the last time in 2000 following the company's decision to halt operations in the UK.

Chelsea Girl

Chelsea Girl was a popular clothing store aimed at young women that existed from the 1960s to the early 1990s.

They were known for their trendy and fashionable clothing.

Daily Echo: Chelsea Girl

The chain merged with Concept Man in 1991 to form what is now the well-known brand River Island.


Inaugurated in 1913, the first Woolworths in Southampton stood proudly on East Street.

Daily Echo: Woolworths, Above Bar, which is closing

Following its success, a second store opened its doors on Above Bar in 1923.

Unfortunately, the original building fell victim to the Blitz but was reconstructed gradually starting from 1949, culminating in its full restoration on November 4, 1954.


Fosters Menswear was a popular menswear chain in the UK that existed from the 1960s until the early 2000s. They were known for offering affordable and fashionable clothing for men.

Daily Echo: Foster Menswear

Fosters went into administration in 1998 and ceased trading altogether by 2002.

There are no longer any physical Fosters Menswear stores in operation.

British Home Stores

Having a long-standing presence in the city, British Home Stores ceased trading after more than 75 years in operation.

Historical records indicate that the store's origins can be traced back to at least 1939, until its closure in 2015 marked the end of an era.

Bourne and Hollingsworth

Daily Echo: British Home Stores.

Bourne and Hollingsworth, a department store originally from London, began life in Southampton in 1959.

The store adopted the name Bournes before closing in 1983.

The site is now occupied by Poundland.


Macfisheries was a national chain of fishmongers which also sold fruit and vegetables.

Daily Echo: Macfisheries

Its roots can be traced back to the early 1900s.

In 1980 it was still open for business in Above Bar.

Tyrrell and Green

The Above Bar store came into existence as a drapery shop in 1898, quickly becoming a beloved destination for shoppers in Southampton.

Its presence continued to charm the city until its closure in the year 2000.

Amid the chaos of the Second World War, the shop fell victim to destruction caused by Luftwaffe attacks and business was transferred temporarily to Winchester

In 1956 a new building, on the same Above Bar site, was officially opened.

The company continues to trade in Westquay Shopping Centre, although now under the name of John Lewis.

Toys 'R' Us

Nestled along Western Esplanade in Southampton stood a magical emporium that captivated the imagination of every child residing in the city.

Daily Echo: Queues outside Toys R Us in Southampton waiting to buy Go Go Hamster the new must have toy for Christmas.

But in 2018, the closure of Toys 'R' Us locations spread across the United Kingdom after the chain succumbed to financial difficulties.

Owen Owen

Between 1830 and 1855, the bulding at 174 High Street was home to the businesses of Cooks and Mayes drapers and mercers.

This partnership eventually evolved into Mayes, which later expanded its operations from property number 173 to 178.

Daily Echo: Owen Owen.

Following the destruction of the premises during the Second World War, a new chapter unfolded when Owen Owen Ltd acquired the business in 1947 and oversaw the rebuilding.

In September 1964, the store was rebranded as Owen Owen and remained operational at the same site until their departure from Southampton in 1994, marking the end of an era for the city.

Van Allen

During their presence in the heart of Southampton, Van Allan established itself at two distinct spots along Above Bar.

Daily Echo: Van Allan

Their offerings included a range of women's apparel, cosmetics, and various accessories.

Notably, a separate section dedicated to bridal attire was situated on the upper level of one of their stores.

Plummer Roddis

Originating in the 1870s, Plummer Roddis held a significant presence in Southampton for many years.

Daily Echo: plummers

Destroyed during the bombings of the Second World War, the original store at the intersection of Above Bar and Commercial Road was a casualty of the blitz.

In 1962, a new building project commenced, but the shop's doors closed for the final time in August 1993.