8 shops we used to love
20 or 30 years ago, our high street shops were very different to today’s big chains. We’ve been remembering some of our favourites – so come shopping with us, on another trip down memory lane…
Our Price, record shop
For records and cassettes: we fondly remember this chain of over 300 record stores where you would buy the new Number One in the charts on a Monday and rush home to play it continuously – much to the annoyance of your parents…
Athena, art retailer
It was a cool shop to be in and hours were spent in Athena on a Saturday afternoon looking through the vast boards of arty posters depicting air-brushed ladies with huge hats and sports cars, moody male models cuddling babies, and pop posters and postcards with which to adorn your bedroom walls.
C&A, fashion retailer
Come to C&A – the slogan from the TV advert is still fondly remembered by people over the age of 40. C&A, an international Dutch chain of fashion stores, could be found in many shopping centres and high streets in the 80s. Some claimed it stood for Coats And ‘Ats.
Chelsea girl, high fashion for teens and young adults
The iconic Chelsea Girl was the first UK fashion boutique chain and a high-street favourite throughout the 60s, 70s and 80s. It eventually evolved into River Island and the label was re-introduced within River Island stores. But somehow, buying a ra-ra skirt was never quite the same.
Kwik Save, discount supermarket chain
These small to medium-sized high street supermarkets were found on most high streets selling everything from cigarettes to sweets to food and home wares. Sadly the stores struggled once the larger superstores began to introduce their own budget brands.
Dolcis, for shoes
The company began in 1863 on a street barrow when John Upson started to sell his shoes on Woolwich Town Market. In1920 the company went public and the name Dolcis started to appear over the shop doors – the name allegedly comes from a Swiss sock stamp. Having a pair of shoes from Dolcis was once the height of sophistication – but it’s now an online-only shoe retailer.
Freeman, Hardy and Willis – more shoes!
Established in 1875 and named after three employees of the company, one of whom was Alfred Freeman, a Russian shoe maker who lived in London. This shoe shop sold shoes for all the family and branches could be found in most shopping centres in the 60s, 70s and 80s.
Ethel Austin, British clothing retailer
This fondly remembered family clothing store was formed by Ethel Austin in 1934 in her house in Liverpool, helping neighbours with their knitting. Within five years she’d opened three shops and the business became the well-known north-west-based chain we came to know and love.