As Orla Kiely announces its closure, we chart other British labels that haven’t stood the test of time

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·Contributor Yahoo Style UK
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Loved British label Orla Kiely is closing. [Photo: Getty]
Loved British label Orla Kiely is closing. [Photo: Getty]

Today, news broke that British fashion and homeware label Orla Kiely announced it’s ceasing trading, closing its stores and website.

The shock announcement comes after the brand’s parent company, Kiely Rowan, went into administration.

The iconic British brand is loved for its vintage, 70s-inspired prints and even had fans in the Duchess of Cambridge, Pippa Middleton and Alexa Chung.

“Thank you for embracing our brand and designs throughout the years and for your ongoing support,” the brand said in a statement.

While Orla Kiely’s closure comes as a shock, it is just the latest in a number of brands falling victim to plummeting sales.

In June, figures from high street giant New Look depicted a bleak future for the company: after reporting an 11.7 percent fall in sales, the brand announced it was closing 60 stores.

New Look follows House of Fraser’s closure of 31 stores in June – which will affect 6,000 jobs – in a bid to save the department store from bankruptcy.

Meanwhile, competitor Debenhams is also planning several closures in the wake of plunging profits, while M&S Clothing and Home is expected to close 20 stores in 2018, Laura Ashley will close eight and French Connection six.

While the outlook for these British brands looks dismal, they have managed to avoid (for now) the fate of their high street predecessors.


In April 2016, it was announced that British Home Stores was going into administration after 87 years on the high street.

The department stores was a key fixture on the British high street, specialising in clothing and homeware.

The shock closure saw the brand’s 163 stores across the UK close with immediate effect and put 11,000 jobs at risk.

BHS closed its doors in 2016. [Photo: Getty]
BHS closed its doors in 2016. [Photo: Getty]

By August 2016, all stores were closed and the remainder of the business was liquidated in December 2016 after failed attempts to find a buyer.

BHS was previously owned by Arcadia boss Philip Green for 15 years before he infamously sold it to Dominic Chappell in March 2015 for the nominal amount of £1.


Perhaps one of the biggest tragedies of the British high street is Woolworths. Loved for its pick’n’mix, school clothes and stationary, the store was mainstay on high street across the country after its inauguration in 1909.

On November 2008, trading of shared in Woolworths Group was suspended and the company went into administration. A massive 807 Woolworths stores closed in between 27 December 2008 and 6 January 2009, resulting in 27,000 job losses.

The brand was officially dissolved on 13 October 2015, marking a sad day for the British high street.

Woolworths closed it’s doors in November 2008. [Photo: Getty]
Woolworths closed it’s doors in November 2008. [Photo: Getty]


Established in 1862, Allders was an independent department store operating in the UK until its closure in 2013. At one point, its flagship store in Croydon was the third largest department store in the country.

The company went into administration in 2005, but the Croydon store continued trading after being purchased by the owner of Jaeger.

On 17 January 2013, the company closed the last-remaining store along with the website, and the much-love department store ceased to exist.

Follow us on Instagram and Facebook for non-stop inspiration delivered fresh to your feed, every day. For Twitter updates, follow @YahooStyleUK.

Read more from Yahoo Style UK:

The Meghan Markle fashion buys we can actually afford

Why has the nation fallen out of love with New Look?

As House of Fraser announces store closures, are we witnessing the death of the department store?

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting