IT HAS been a difficult year for retail, with many businesses feeling the impact of the cost-of-living crisis impacting sales along with changing shopping habits.

Various high street stores and out-of-town retailers have been forced to close branches across the country, and Andover has seen the impact of this in the town centre and retail parks, with many shops having to shut for good.

Andover Advertiser: Some of the shops that closed in Andover in 2023

Here we look at some of the much-loved shops we said goodbye to in the town in 2023.


It was a sad day for many when Wilko closed its store in Andover on September 21, marking the end of an era for both staff and the community.

At 5.25pm, store manager Andrew Dawson addressed the public to say: “For the final time ever, I request you to please finish your shopping as the store is closing now. We will bring the shutters down at 5.30pm, and that will be it. Thank you.”

The hardware and furnishings retailer went into administration in September after coming under pressure from weak consuming spending and debts to suppliers, resulting in administrators PwC closing stores across the country.

Wilko was originally founded by James Kemsey Wilkinson in Leicester in 1930 and employed 12,500 workers before its collapse.

Geek Emporium

Andover's tight-knit community of geeks were disappointed when The Geek Emporium announced its closure in September.

After three fantastic years of celebrating fandoms, collectables, and cherished memories, owner Stuart Gatward bid farewell to his beloved comic book store in Waterloo Court.

In a heartfelt goodbye message on Facebook, Stuart reflected on the remarkable journey that brought The Geek Emporium to life.

Stuart said: "So many people I met at events or the pop-up shop were very encouraging about me having my own shop. I just had to wait for the right opportunity to come along."

BHF furniture

A British Heart Foundation (BHF) shop in Andover town centre closed in Andover after serving the community for 11 years.

The charity shop, which was in High Street closed its doors for good on Saturday, September 30.

Paul Pritchard, regional manager at the BHF, said: “After 11 years of business, our lease has come to an end, and sadly, the Andover BHF home store will close on the 30th of September.

“We would like to thank our wonderful staff, volunteers, customers, and donors for all their amazing support over the years.”


In August, mobile phone giant O2 revealed it would close its Andover town centre branch The Chantry Centre store closed on Tuesday, September 19, due to the franchise agreement coming to an end.

An O2 spokesperson said: "To ensure we deliver the great service O2 customers expect in a competitive environment, we sometimes need to evaluate how our business operates.”

Country Life Grooming 

A dog grooming business in Tidworth announced in August that it had closed permanently.

Countrylife Dog Grooming, in Station Road, told customers at 9am on Saturday, August 5, that it will no longer be trading.

Owner Ria Keen took to social media to explain why she decided not to continue and said the past year has been "extremely hard and stressful at times" due to energy costs and bills rising to a level she is struggling to keep up with”.

Celebration Cube

This store in Andover which sold balloons and other celebratory items closed in December. Celebration Cube, in the Chantry Centre, shut on December 8.

The shop was only open for just more than a year since August 2022.

The Print Shop

A photo printing shop will be closing its doors for good on Christmas Eve after trading for more than 20 years in Andover town centre.

Photos2print, in Bridge Street in the town centre, will be closing on Sunday, December 24.

The news comes after the owners announced their retirement with the shop's lease due to expire.