Shops in Oxford city centre come and go increasingly rapidly these days but there was a time when they seemed like permanent fixtures.

Here we look back at some favourite former stores in and around the city.

There was shock in 2004 when department store Littlewoods announced it was closing its doors after 40 years.

The 26 staff at the Clarendon Centre store were given just four days' that the branch was shutting for good.

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Stock has been marked down in price and notices placed in the windows telling customers that the store would close.

Oxford Mail:

Keith Slater, then chairman of Oxfordshire Chamber of Commerce, said the demise of the store - which opened in Cornmarket Street in 1964 before moving to new premises in 1983 - was a "wake-up call" to the city.

Littlewoods said the business was not meeting its targets and that it had to make the decision to close at short notice to allow another unnamed company to lease the premises.

Oxford Mail:

Mr Slater said at the time: "I'm shocked that Littlewoods is closing in Oxford, but it reflects the fact that Oxford retailing has not been as good as it could have been over the last few years.

"It shows how important it is for the city and county to be considering the retail future of Oxford."

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He added: "The city centre as a retail centre is very much in need of a revival.

Oxford Mail:

"There's been a great deal of disruption and even though cleaning up the graffiti and chewing gum has improved it enormously in the last few months, it's still not exactly the nicest of places to go shopping in.

"It's another wake-up call to do something about Oxford city centre."

Shopper Beryl Califano, 63, of South Oxford, said: "I shall be very disappointed - it's one of my favourite stores. It has come as a shock. Normally you would expect some warning. I'm very sad for the staff. It's awful to be told at such short notice."

In 2019 Boswells announced it was to close, followed by Debenhams.