The news that Currys is to shut its Huddersfield town centre store means another well-known name will vanish the high street.

And with fears about the future of BHS still hanging over the chain’s stores, it is another example of how our shopping centres are changing.

Currys are concentrating their efforts on large retail park stores. They have an outlet on the Great Northern Retail Park.

And the BHS problems are on a scale with the collapse of Woolworths seven years ago.

We spoke to Huddersfield retail expert David Harvey about the high street brands of yesteryear — and how our town centre is changing.

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He believes they have to combine a mix of retail, leisure and entertainment if they are to survive against the out of town retail parks.

Over the years many well-known names have vanished from Huddersfield streets.

Some are the big-name shops that dominated the High Street up and down the coutnry.

Which stores did you love to shop in that have long since vanished?

There were the 800 Woolworths stores, the C&A clothing stores like the one in New Street, Principles, Adams and Bay.

Woolworths on Victoria Lane before its closure in January 2009

Go further back in time and people will remember the shoe shops such as Freeman Hardy and Willis and Stylo.

And town centres like Huddersfield had its food shops such as Dewhurst butchers and Fine Fare.

Huddersfield in its past also had big independent stores like Kayes, Rushworths and Heywoods.

Adams
Adams

Mr Harvey, a senior lecturer in marketing at the University of Huddersfield, insists it is not a problem that individual retailers can change.

He feels that councils and town centre managers need to work to bring about a complete package to attract shoppers into towns.

Trolleybus crossing the Westgate junction into Kirkgate past Rushworths department store in July 1968.
Trolleybus crossing the Westgate junction into Kirkgate past Rushworths department store in July 1968.

“People no longer want to go into a town centre just to visit a shop.

“They want leisure facilities, they want to eat, they want to be entertained, hence the success of the retail parks, which have restaurants and cinemas.

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“There are also other issues such as convenient parking which is sending people to the retail parks; if I’m going to order a TV from Currys, I’m going to get it where I can drive up to the door in my car.

“People want the whole experience not just the shopping. They also want the convenience.

“Online shopping has also played a big part. The retailers have ironed out the delivery problems from years ago and now it is easy for customers.”