Wilko has become the latest high street retailer to collapse into administration, sparking more fears the death of the high street is well and truly upon us.

Here are 10 other household names you’ll no longer find across town centres in East Lancashire.

10 Major Household Names That No Longer Exist

Carillion (2018)

 Carillion, a major construction and facilities management company, collapsed in 2018, leading to the loss of around 43,000 jobs. It was considered one of the largest corporate failures in the UK.

They employed many people across the county through council contracts and were responsible for the building of the Preston Bypass – the UK’s first motorway – in 1958.

Thomas Cook (2019)

Lancashire Telegraph: The former Thomas Cook store in King William Street, Blackburn, which reopened as Heys Travel in 2019The former Thomas Cook store in King William Street, Blackburn, which reopened as Heys Travel in 2019 (Image: Archive)

Thomas Cook, a prominent travel company, went into liquidation in 2019, resulting in the loss of approximately 21,000 jobs. Holiday markers lost trips costing more than half a billion pounds.

The firm had a strong presence in East Lancashire since 2007 when it bought the My Travel Group, developed from Airtours, which was founded in Rossendale by local entrepreneur David Crossland. At its height, the firm employed 300 staff across two call centres in Accrington and Helmshore.

It was bought by Thomas Cook and Son in February 2007. Huge losses led to the closure of the Accrington branch in March 2019, and counterparts in Blackburn, Burnley, and Colne followed six months later.

Poundworld (2018)

Lancashire Telegraph: Poundworld in The Mall BlackburnPoundworld in The Mall Blackburn (Image: Archive)

 The discount retailer Poundworld collapsed in 2018, leading to the loss of roughly 5,100 jobs. It fell into administration in June of that year, putting its 335-store portfolio at risk.

The budget retailer had stores in Blackburn’s The Mall as well as Burnley, Accrington, and Nelson.

BHS (2016)

Lancashire Telegraph: The BHS store in Blackburn in 1999The BHS store in Blackburn in 1999 (Image: Archive)

British Home Stores (BHS) went into administration in 2016, causing around 11,000 job losses. The giant firm was one of Blackburn’s flagship stores, located in King William Street, and had a presence in the town for decades.

It was the only BHS store in East Lancashire, meaning people travelled from all over the region into Blackburn to shop there, and shoppers said at the time its loss would be a blow to the town.

Woolworths (2008)

Lancashire Telegraph: Woolworths in Bank Street, RawtenstallWoolworths in Bank Street, Rawtenstall (Image: Archive)

While it's been more than 15 years, Woolworths' collapse in 2008 resulted in the loss of around 27,000 jobs. It was a significant event during this time frame.

The Blackburn store in The Mall opened in 1999 and managed to hang on until the end along with those in Clitheroe, Accrington, and Burnley.

Stores in Nelson and Rawtenstall, among the 807 that closed across the country, sold off stock, fixtures, and fittings at discounted prices.

Flybe (2020)

The regional airline Flybe filed for administration in 2020, leading to the loss of approximately 2,400 jobs. Around 2,000 staff members were affected by the collapse of the airline which carried about eight million passengers between 71 airports across the continent.

Flybe, which flew from nearby Manchester Airport, relaunched in 2020 and commenced operations again in April 2022, but lasted less than a year as it once again collapsed in January of this year.

Monarch Airlines (2017)

Monarch Airlines ceased operations in 2017, causing the loss of roughly 2,750 jobs. Shortly before the collapse, a former Burnley College student took part in her first flight with Monarch having studied travel and tourism during her time at sixth form.

Reports emerged this year that Monarch was looking to return, but plans to resurrect the airline six years after it collapsed were put in doubt in August after it emerged the relaunch had been halted due to a lack of funds.

British Steel (2019)

British Steel went into compulsory liquidation in 2019, impacting approximately 5,000 jobs. It was the country’s second-biggest steel maker.

The government was urged to nationalise British Steel but said the only way nationalisation would be contemplated is if credible buyers were waiting.

Maplin Electronics (2018)

Maplin Electronics, a retailer specialising in electronics, collapsed in 2018, resulting in around 2,500 job losses.

Maplin had a store on the Grimshaw retail park in Blackburn and a further 199 across the country.

HMV (2013)

Lancashire Telegraph: The old HMV store in BlackburnThe old HMV store in Blackburn (Image: Archive)

HMV, a music and entertainment retailer, faced financial difficulties in 2013, leading to an estimated 1500 job losses across its stores.

Though still trading, its presence across highstreets has diminished. Its only stores in Lancashire are in Preston, Blackpool, and Lancaster,

Jonathan Merry, personal finance expert at Moneyzine.com, said: “It’s understandable for many employees, particularly those working for competitors of Wilko or within retail, to be worried that the company they work for could be the next one at risk. Especially when we look at some of the prominent brands that went into administration in the past few years, leading to thousands of job losses.

“The sad fact is that many retailers will show sure-signs of being in difficulty long before their collapse is announced. Employees worried for their future can at the very least stay in the loop to prepare for this happening.”