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17 UK nineties shops we wish would come back from the dead

17 nineties shops we wish would come back from the dead
Shopping was better in the 90s and you know it (Picture: Getty)

*Slips on rose tinted glasses*

Remember back in the 90s when you still used to go to the shops IRL, and a trip to your local high road would result in you spending, like, a whole £4.90 on that week’s number one single, a poster for your bedroom wall, and enough pick ‘n’ mix to give you a belly ache for a week?

Well nowadays £4.90 will barely get you a Big Mac meal, and most of the shops which fueled our teenage dreams are sadly no more.

So join us for a trip down memory high street, where the sun always shines, for some serious reminiscing… #Mems

1. Our Price

our price shop
(Picture: Tony Buckingham)

You probably brought your first single here. Chances are it was a tape, and in the intervening years you’ve realised the s*** song on the B-side is actually way better.


2. C&A

C&A store
(Picture: Craig Hibbert)

This is where your mum used to drag you, kicking and screaming, to get your vests, pop socks and school coat. It wasn’t cool, but now when you see them on mainland Europe, you feel kind of jealous that they still have them and we don’t.


3. Dolcis

File photo dated 26/9/2005 of the Dolcis shoe shop on London's Oxford Street. High street retailer Alexon revealed Tuesday January 10, 2006, that a disappointing performance at brands including Dolcis over Christmas had left it with an unexpected amount of unsold stock. See PA Story CITY Alexon. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Photo credit should read: Fiona Hanson/PA,
(Picture: PA)

Three words: Knee high boots.


4. Morgan

The Morgan store in Oxford St, between Oxford Circus and Bond Street. PICTURE, MIKE FLOYD.
(Picture: Mike Flyod)

You weren’t anyone until you owned a pair of Morgan’s black bootcut trousers. Fact.


5. Whittard

Passers-by in front of a Whittard of Chelsea store in Chiswick. Whittard of Chelsea, the tea and coffee retailer, has lined up Ernst and Young as administrators, a source close to the company confirmed.
(Picture: PA)

A whole shop dedicated to tea? Who the f*** shopped there? You, every Mother’s Day. True story.


6. Blockbuster

Blockbuster store.  It's been a terrible week for Britain's High Street stores - first photographic retailer Jessops closed it's doors, then music chain HMV announced it's called in the receivers and today, DVD and video games rental firm Blockbuster UK, which has 528 stores in the UK employing 4,190 staff, has gone into administration.    January 16th 2012 Photo by Keith Mayhew D27XPB
(Picture: Alamy)

Yes, they NEVER had the video you wanted, and you racked up enough late fines for a deposit on a two bed flat, but still, you really miss them on Sunday nights when there’s nothing on the telly.


7. Tammy


Too old for M&S kids, but too young for Morgan? Welcome to Tammy Girl – the store of your pre-teen dreams.


8. The Body Shop

Pictures of Daily Mail writer Lucie Morris at Londons Heathrow airport Terminal 1 "Duty Free" pre boarding area. picture shows the Body shop where Lucie bought tweezers. Before boarding British Midland flight 175 to Paris with other banned dangerous objects, bought in the Heathrow duty free areas
(Picture: Mark Lloyd)

Yes yes, we know The Body Shop is still around, but seriously, when was the last time you made a friend a bespoke basket of white musk five ways, eh?


9. Madhouse

Cromwells Madhouse jean store
(Picture: Krestine Havemann)

It was down the dodgy end of Oxford Street, and THE place to get your Pepe jeans and Fruit of the Loom jumpers.


10. Kookai

Kookai retail shop. Branch in Oxford Street,London  feb 2001...Retail Shop...Kookai retail shop.
(Picture: David Willis)

Kookai – the only place to get your going out (read spangly) tops and cute little clubbing bags. Chic (or so you thought).


11. Ravel

A06RY3 Ravel shop store Trafford centre UK United Kingdom England Europe GB Great Britain EU European Union
(Picture: Alamy)

Ravel is where you went for posh shoes for posh dos.


12. Athena

Athena shop
(Picture: Chris / Flickr)

This is where all your pocket money went. Posters, watches, man and baby, sexy tennis girl. Need we say more?


13. Gadget Shop  retail.  Branch in oxford Street,London  Feb  2001...Retail  retail

Aka. a fantastic way to spend a couple of hours. No you never actually brought anything, but you did somehow manage to break something ev-er-y time you went in.

Can’t think why they closed down…


14. Sock Shop

Sock Shop on Oxford Street London, July 14th 2005. sock shop has gone bust for the third time, hit by slow consumer spending and rising costs. David Parry/ newscast.
(Picture: David Parry)

A shop just selling socks – how was that ever a good idea? No one, but no one loves socks THAT much.


15. Past Times

CITY Past Times 2...The Covent Garden branch of the gift shop chain, Past Times, which has gone into administration, it was announced today Thursday April 26, 2001. The company is looking for a buyer to support its 74 branches and 721 employees across the UK. See PA Story CITY Past Times. PA Photo: Kirsty Wigglesworth...A
(Picture: PA)

The go-to shop for last minute gifts. Who doesn’t like a vintage-style mug/ picture frame/ necklace/ candle holder?


16. Sweater shop


Their T-shirts and sweaters were always on your birthday list, you wore them with cycling shorts or patterned leggings and thought… no knew, you looked too cool for school.


17. Woolworths

(Picture: REX)

No round up of stores that will forever be in our hearts would be complete without Woolies. From the ultimate pick ‘n’ mix (or should that be nick ‘n’ mix), to pencil cases to make your best mates jealous, Woolworths was the absolute best.

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10 Weird But Best-Selling Items in America

Check out these 10 weird products, all of which are already best sellers.

1 Uranium Ore
Uranium Ore

Iran’s having a hell of a time mining uranium without raising the ire of other countries, but the American government doesn’t seem to mind individual consumers buying uranium, so as long as it’s “for educational use and experiments only.” That’s right, don’t plan on conducting any nuclear experiments this year or next!

Uranium ore by Images SI, Inc. is said to have low radioactivity and is therefore license exempt. U.S. consumers have purchased 18.6 million pounds to date.

2 Fake Wishbones
Fake Wishbones

It turns out superstitions are profitable, even if they are not actually authentic.

The tradition is to break a wishbone. However, Ken Ahroni was not one to underestimate the absurdity of this Thanksgiving tradition and began manufacturing plastic wishbones for families who wanted more than just one per turkey.

Turns out, hoping for things that won’t come true is a whole family thing and not just reserved for mom and dad. Over one million units have been sold, and the item has even prompted a lawsuit — and as we all know, that’s when you know you’ve really made it.

3 Ped-Egg

Over 45 million Ped-Eggs have been sold since 2007, and they are little more than egg-shaped foot files. They treat foot calluses and dry skin with over 135 precision micro-files.

Perhaps the greatest thing about the Ped-Egg is that it collects all of the skin shavings, saving the consumer the clean up time and embarrassment of doing so.

4 Cards Against Humanity
Cards Against Humanity

The surprise hit of 2013 is a card game advertised to be as “despicable and awkward as you and all your friends.”

In Cards Against Humanity, a player chooses a black card, reads the question, and then everyone answers with their funniest white card. This simple concept was so successful the company announced that the product has sold out as of January 2014.

5 Doggles

If you’ve ever had a dog then you know how much they like to stick their head out the window of a moving car. However, did you know that your canine’s favorite pastime can dry out your dog’s eyes?

It’s a good thing that there’s Doggles – goggles made for dogs. Doggles were created by Roni Di Lullo for her sunlight sensitive pooch. Ever since then, people have been gong barking mad for them. Even the US military bought 120 pairs for a presumably war-related expense.

6 iFart App
iFart App

This app lets your phone make fart noises. The iFart has 26 basic fart sounds and even has a “record your own” option.

At $.99 a pop it was downloaded 113,885 times in its first 2 weeks. It may be impossible to know how much the ifart app has been downloaded since, but based on the amount of people who find fart jokes funny it’s gotta be in the millions.

7 Chia Pet
Chia Pet

With well over 5,000,000 sold, Chia pets are practically outperforming Chia seeds (which actually do more for you then just grow).

From Bart Simpson to Chia cats to even a Willie Robertson (Duck Dynasty) beard, there are numerous chia pets out there – perhaps in more shapes and molds then you’ll ever know. If you’re tired of making green afros on celebrities (and who would get tired of that), you can still eat the seeds, which double as a popular health food snack. You can by your Chia pet for only $19.95, commercial jingle not included. (Ch-ch-ch-chia!)

8 The Pet Rock
The Pet Rock

Long before Japan’s artificial life forms like the Tamagotchi virtual pet hit the market, there was another meaningless pet — though this one is different from other weird gadgets because of its incomparable uselessness.

The Pet Rock was the brainchild of ad wizard Gary Dahl. Dahl was tired of traditional house pets and decided to create a product based almost solely on marketing, with no innovation.

Maybe it was fitting that the height of the Pet Rock’s popularity was 1975, a year of counterculture absurdity. The 70s were perfect for the launch of the decorative mock pet, which — believe it or not — did no tricks whatsoever. During that time, The Pet Rock sold 1.5 million units.

The Pet Rock became available again in September 2012, with the newest models featuring USB connectivity. The point being…er, nothing, once again.

9 The Snuggie
The Snuggie

To own a Snuggie – a wearable blue blanket with sleeves – is one thing, but a Snuggie fashion statement was unexpected.

With 20 million Snuggies sold, people started wearing them out in public – to sporting events, aboard airplanes, and even inside pubs. That people wearing Snuggies look like a bizarre cross between a member of the Illuminati and the Cookie Monster doesn’t seem to be a problem.

10 Sticky Buddy
Sticky Buddy

Sold mainly through television and the Internet, Sticky Buddy has sold 500,000 units since its inception in mid-2012.

Sticky Buddy is a normal product but what sets it apart are the rubber protrusions, also called fingers, that have the ability to remove hair out of fabric. As such, sticky buddy is used for couches, carpets, comforters, and car seats to pick out dog hair, cat hair, mouse hair, and dare we say, your spouse’s hair.

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JCPenney Or J.C. Penney? Do You Know The Proper Names Of These Companies?

(Great Beyond)

When we eventually hit the lottery and fulfill our dream of opening the world’s largest chain of Skee Ball parlors, we’re going to name it “Consumerist’s’s’s’s” in honor of all the inexplicably abandoned apostrophes that rightfully belong in retailers’ names but have been left to die by marketing executives or company owners who didn’t want to seem too possessive.

But this got us thinking about all the retailers and fast food chains that confuse people with their dropped apostrophes, and possibly inserted hyphens, periods, asterisks, etc. So to end this week, we thought we’d leave you with a quiz to see how well you know the names of these businesses.

Keep in mind, the answers to the quiz below only deal with the public-facing names of a company. So if a store is called “John’s” but its corporate name is actually “John Inc.” the answer is still John’s.

That should be a hint for those of you who read those financial newspapers and websites that insist on only using corporate names.

Anyway, enough chit-chat… take the quiz, or just cheat by scrolling all the way down to the answers and explanations at the bottom of the page.


1. JCPenney

The name that the company wants to be known as is JCPenney, but their official name is J. C. Penney Company, Inc.

Not that everyone remembers this all of the time: Consumerist once received a press release that spelled the company’s name three different ways in the same document. From the company itself.

2. Walgreens

The store name is Walgreens, no apostrophe, after founder Charles R. Walgreen Sr.

Officially, the company is called Walgreen Co. Unofficially, everyone inserts an apostrophe.

3. Tim Hortons

This name has an odd history. The company began as “Tim Horton Donuts,” named after original co-founder, hockey legend Tim Horton. Early on, the name was shortened to just “Tim Horton’s,” which stuck for decades until the apostrophe ran afoul of the bilingual signage laws in the province of Quebec.

Instead of branding the chain “Chez Tim Horton” in only one province, they removed the apostrophe, which doesn’t make sense in any language.

4. Kohl’s

Founded as Kohl’s Department Store in 1962, the chain has dropped the “Department Store” over the years but has kept its apostrophe.

5. Popeyes

The original restaurant was named “Chicken on the Run,” but that name didn’t catch on. The name Popeyes came from a character in The French Connection, and never had an apostrophe, though that doesn’t make much sense either since there is only one Popeye in the movie.

And not even every Popeyes gets this right. It’s hard to see from this Google Street View pic, but those of us familiar with the Yonkers/Hastings-On-Hudson area of New York can tell you that this sign at the rest stop on I-87 most definitely reads “Popeye’s.”


6. Wegmans

Similar to Walgreens, this name has no apostrophe. The surname of the family who founded the company is Wegman, so presumably this chain of supermarkets is just celebrating all the members of that family.

7. Ralphs

Another confusing family name. But unlike Wegmans or Walgreens, where the apostrophe is ditched in favor of the plural, Ralphs is actually the last name of supermarket founder George Albert Ralphs. But rather than go with Ralphs’ or Ralphs’s, the store has been sans apostrophe since starting in 1873.

8. Lowe’s

Lucius Smith Lowe opened his first Lowe’s in North Carolina in 1921, and the apostrophe has been there ever since. What causes confusion for a lot of people is the Lowes Foods chain of supermarkets in the Southeast and of course the company that is the answer to question 9…

9. Loews

110 years ago, Marcus Loew opened his first theater in Ohio and slapped his name, in the possessive, on it. Then Lowe’s theaters grew until the Tisch family purchased it several decades later — and decided it didn’t need that apostrophe.

That no-apostrophe Loews was then used for the corporation that would run the Tisch’s Loews hotel empire, along with the Loews theaters. Then Loews sold its movie venue business in 1985 to TriStar Pictures, which kept the name. The Loews theaters continued to use that name even as they were acquired, merged, and passed around for three decades, until finally merging with, and taking the name of AMC in 2005.

The Loews name continues on in its hotel and resort business, which is still owned by the Loews Corporation.

10. Walmart

Despite what everyone in the area of upstate New York where I live says, the name of this chain is not Walmart’s.

This one is tricky when it comes to formatting, since the company’s official corporate name is Wal-Mart Stores Inc., and during the period from 1992 to 2008 when there was a star in the logo, some publications printed the name as “Wal*Mart.”

The current, hyphen-free version of the name came into use in 2008, and is how the company refers to itself in branding materials… but not corporate governance.

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