• Mon. May 27th, 2024

Oxford shops we have loved and lost


Oct 4, 2022

Here we feature photos from the Oxford archive of shops across the city we have loved and lost over the years.

It’s not just the big names like Boswells and Woolworths we remember.

Some local independent retailers are also missed too.

Photo: Oxford Mail

Read again: When will The Store open

But perhaps the biggest loss in recent years was family-run department store Boswells, which closed in 2020.

For many families over the years Boswells toy department was the place to go to give their children a treat for Christmas.

Photo: Oxford Mail

But the historic department store in Cornmarket announced it was to close in 2019 and did not reopen after the first coronavirus lockdown

Youngsters would beg their parents to take them to the toy department so they could look at the latest toys and watch the Hornby train sets go around the tracks.

Photo: Oxford Mail

The Oxford branch of Debenhams in Magdalen Street has also closed.

Read again: Red sky over Cholsey station

Plans to turn the Boswells building on the corner of Cornmarket and Broad Street into a hotel called The Store are now well advanced, and the four-star Reef Group hotel is expected to open next year.

The company claimed that despite being a tourism hotspot, and the site of one of the world’s leading universities, Oxford had a shortage of high-quality hotels with restaurants in the city centre.

Photo: Oxford Mail

Reef said The Store Hotel would provide much-needed new facilities in the city centre to help attract tourists and other visitors in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Read more: Boswells in Oxford set to close

Photo: Oxford Mail

The plans include a restaurant, a bar and a rooftop terrace with panoramic views of the city’s iconic skyline, all open to the public, and some office space.

Read more from this author

This story was written by Andy Ffrench, he joined the team more than 20 years ago and now covers community news across Oxfordshire.

Get in touch with him by emailing: Andy.ffrench@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter @OxMailAndyF