HUGE high street chains and pubs including B&M and Wetherspoons are to close dozens of branches forever – with some closing in days.
Many shops have been struggling since the pandemic and shoppers are feeling the pinch as sky-high inflation sends prices soaring.
High energy costs and a shift to online shopping are also taking their toll and leaving some retailers unable to keep going.
Even popular discount chains aren’t getting away unscathed, despite being a little more affordable for cash-strapped shoppers.
Here, we round up all the discount chains set to close shops within days.
B&M is to close several stores over the next week, with two closing their doors as early as this weekend.
The discount chain has already closed and relocated various stores over the last few months.
The B&M in Boucher Road, Belfast, will close up shop on March 26.
But, it’s good news for shoppers because a new shop will actually be opening in the area this Friday (March 24).
The new location is said to be “bigger and better” than before and will offer a wider range of branded products.
Meanwhile, Sunday will also see the closure of B&M’s Kilmarnock store in Queens Drive Retail Park.
Its closure comes after a larger store in Glencairn Retail Park opened last month complete with a garden center too.
The following week Bristol will be losing its B&M shop in Broadwalk Shopping Centre.
It’s closing its doors for good on March 29.
More than 30 Wetherspoons pubs are currently up for sale and at risk of closure and more than a dozen have already closed.
This weekend, the pub chain will close one of its branches in Scotland.
The Sir John Stirling Maxwell in Glasgow will close on March 26.
The hospitality chain runs 844 pubs in the UK and Ireland and employs up to 43,000 people.
It comes just days after Spoons closed The Knight’s Templar in Chancery Lane, London.
The branch was the only Wetherspoons licensed to carry out weddings.
You can see if your local Wetherspoons have been marked for closure in the future by checking out the full list here.
Iceland is popular with shoppers for its frozen food and unmissable deals.
But the discount supermarket announced a string of closures last month – with more set to close this weekend.
Iceland will close its branches in South Street, Newport, Isle of Wight and St Catherine’s Place, Bedminster on March 25.
It will be followed by the closure of Iceland’s supermarket in Deinol Centre, Bangor on March 27.
It’s not clear at the moment whether more branches will follow suit later in the year.
Typically, though, Iceland opens more than 20 new stores each year, with 24 new stores opened in the past year.
Homesense is part of the same company that owns TK Maxx and mostly sells home furnishings.
It has announced it will be closing its Swansea branch in March, although it has not confirmed a specific date.
More store closures in March
One of the UK’s biggest card retailers Clintons has announced it will close two stores for good by the end of this month.
Its store in Whitehaven, Cumbria, closed on March 19.
Bolton’s Market Street store is set to close by the end of the month too, although a specific date has not been confirmed.
The high street chain announced last year that it was closing 67 of its larger shops as part of a major shake-up.
It said the closures of the “lower productivity, full line stores” will take place over the next three years.
The shake-up also comes as part of a wider overhaul which will see M&S aim to deliver around £400 million in cost savings.
M&S has confirmed that its Fenchurch Street store in London will shut for good on March 31.
All 170 M&Co stores are set to close forever and some shops have already confirmed when they’ll shut their doors for good.
It comes after the retailer, previously called Mackay’s, fell into administration for the second time in two years in December 2022.
M&Co’s Wick and Fort William stores will close for good on Saturday, March 25.
Another closure will take place before the end of the month when M&Co’s Thurso shop will shut to customers for the final time on Tuesday, March 28.
What other stores are closing this year?
Halfords, House of Fraser and even high street giant M&S are among some of the retailers closing stores this year.
Stationery retailer Paperchase is already in the process of closing branches too.
A number of banks and building societies are set to close within days.
Barclays is set to close four branches this month, including in Birmingham, Sittingbourne and Torquay.
Meanwhile, NatWest is closing five branches and Santander is pulling down shutters on three on March 30.
Halifax is also closing one branch on March 29.
If you are worried about closing your local bank branch, you’ve got some options.
You can always switch to a different bank or building society that has a branch closer to you.
Or, if you don’t want to switch, you can use one of the Post Office’s 11,635 branches to carry out the most basic banking tasks.
Some banks run “mobile banking services” too where they bring a bus to your local area offering the services normally available at your nearest physical branch.
It’s worth contacting your bank if you’re struggling to get to your nearest branch to see if they offer such a service.
Do you have a money problem that needs sorting? Get in touch by emailing [email protected]