Least popular retail brands in 2021

Research into least popular retail brands in 2021 conducted by Opening Times

We all find comfort in our favourite household brands. Trusted and tried retailers who we store faith in to never fail us. However, what about the brands we do not consider, the brands that have fallen and that we have forgotten about? The least popular retail brands which get ignored by the public.

least popular retail brands

More than just a helpful tool in store opening and closing times, Opening Times have used their research conducting magic to gather data on the least popular retail brands in 2021 in the UK.

As we emerge from the Covid19 pandemic we are all curious to see what the aftermath will reveal. Clearly, some brands have been more affected than others, if you are curious to know more, then this is the article for you.

What are the least popular retail brands in 2021?

The least popular brands in 2021 spread across various industries, from hair care to household cleaning products, and even toy companies that were once much loved.

With various changes in the world with the rise of social media and online shopping to coronavirus, many brands have been impacted.

Let’s take a look at the top 10 least popular retail brands in 2021.

Tresemme Hair Care

What was once a market leader in the haircare sector, Tresemme has fallen in its ranks and is now one of the least popular hair care brands in the UK. Boasting professional haircare, Tresemme has a range of products from heat protecting sprays, styling sprays and a range of shampoos and conditioners claiming to ease various hair needs, such as dry, frizzy, oily and coloured hair.

The reality, however, seems to be different. Tresemme products mostly include ingredients that cause more damage to hair, such as sulphates and salts. Although sulphates are recommended to deep clean your hair, recent studies have shown the damaging impact it actually has on your locks.

With a society that has awakened to the emphasis on using ‘clean’ products with natural ingredients to nourish your hair, Tresemme falls short on meeting the new demands of haircare today. Additionally, with so many new natural, clean, cruelty-free and vegan brands coming out at affordable prices, old school brands like Tresemme are just not meeting the mark.

The Co-operative Group

The Co-operative Group or better known as the local Co-op is a British consumer co-operative including a range of retail services across food, wholesale, e-pharmacy, insurance services, legal services and funeral care.

Despite many Co-ops popping up as your local go-to grocery store, don’t be fooled – The Co-operative Group is not finding as much success as one might imagine.

People are becoming more health-conscious, with half a million people in the UK signing up for Veganuary in 2021. Additionally, with the rise of trends such as meal prepping, perhaps quick fix locals are losing their relevance?

Of course, it does not help that Co-op was caught in a messy media row about transphobia in 2020 with The Spectator magazine, losing the faith and consumerism of the trans community.

Either way, when it comes to groceries, The Co-op, unfortunately, is one of the last brands that come to mind.

Build-A-Bear Workshop

When thinking of Build-A-Bear Workshops, sweet nostalgia comes to mind as we think of beautiful, albeit overpriced personalised bears spewing cute messages being gifted everywhere.

Part of the novelty is getting to come into the store and choose your own bear with all its personalised trimmings, creating a wonderfully magical time when out shopping with the kids. Unfortunately, this does not have the same effect online.

This means that with the Coronavirus, Build-A-Bear Workshop did turn into one of the brands that suffered without the availability of a physical store during the lockdowns. Because of this, Build-A-Bear furloughed 90% of workers, reduced store hours and as of May 2021, started closing down stores around the UK and Ireland.


Branded as the number one disinfectants and killing 100% of bacteria, Domestos is a British household cleaning brand manufactured by Unilever.

Despite its confident claims, Domestos’ popularity in the UK tells a different story. Awareness is being drawn amongst consumers to the fact that cleaning with bleach causes more harm than good as it releases airborne chemicals that cause irritation. Although Domestos may be a pro at killing bacteria, the real question seems to be at what cost?

In addition to being deemed unsafe, bleach has also been proven to be ineffective as an all-purpose surface cleaner.

Brands with more focus on aroma, effectiveness and using clean ingredients that will not create a toxic environment are rising in popularity, which unfortunately leaves Dosmetos at the bottom of the pile – or left standing alone on the shelf!


Bringing playtime to life, Hasbro is responsible for creating the highlight of many childhoods with much-loved brands like, My Little Pony, PlayDoh, Power Rangers, and even Monopoly – which still causes family feuds to this day!

However, Hasbro has sunk in popularity in the UK being the fifth least popular brand in the UK in 2021.

Despite fun-loving games and popular TV shows to match, Hasbro is another brand that has not been able to evade the effects of the coronavirus, being 27% down in stock and sales.

With the closing of stores, and without a persistent child tugging on the sleeve of their parent asking for the newest toy, sales have inevitably declined. The pandemic has had a trickling effect on everyone, and with consumers having to tighten the purse strings amidst all the uncertainty, it does mean that such toys are deemed unnecessary.

However, Hasbro’s downturn began long before Covid came onto the scene as its decline was impacted by the bankruptcy of Toys ‘R’ Us in 2018 – Hasbro’s third-largest customer.


An American haircare brand, Remington offers its customers straighteners, wands, curling irons – a hair tool to suit any hair desire. Despite all the choice, Remington has become one of the least popular retail brands in 2021.

Once being the ultimate hair straightener, Remington’s decline began swiftly after the eruption of ghd’s and other hair tool brands that have outsold and outdone Remington.

Although Remington is appreciated for its affordability with its price points, there are several other brands that are more affordable and are focused on protecting hair and decreasing damage. This has left Remington as one of the least popular hair care brands.

The Cotswold Company

While the pandemic has botched physical stores, it has given way to an eruption of online stores and businesses.

Many online retailers who typically sold clothes and beauty products have widened their products to include homeware, including popular online retailers, Missguided, Pretty Little Thing, I Saw It First and more. It also saw the rise in popularity for many online home furniture stores who have set home trends that have spread across the internet through social media influencers and popular social media sites, such as Pinterest.

This means that old school brands like The Cotswold Company have fallen behind, not just on trends but also on price points. Consumers have turned to more affordable and accessible online stores, and this, unfortunately, has contributed to the decline in popularity for The Cotswold Company.

Additionally, where The Cotswold Company relied on showrooms to showcase their furniture, the pandemic has struck yet another business dependent on footfall for sales.


What was once the hallmark of the greeting card industry, the Hallmark brand itself has fallen in popularity in the UK.

People used to celebrate birthdays and milestones with thoughtful cards with heartfelt messages written inside. However, today people all celebrate online – online cards, online messages and social media shoutouts. The need for a written card has disappeared and this has resulted in Hallmark stores closing down and sales taking a massive hit.

Additionally, audience tastes are changing. Younger generations prefer friendly sarcasm to heartfelt feelings and this does not sit with the Hallmark brand, meaning it does not sit well with current consumers.

Lastly, it comes down to the ultimate retail villain, the Coronavirus. With the lockdown, older consumers who appreciate the novelty of pen to paper were denied the opportunity of strolling between greeting card aisles as stores had to close, declining sales further.


A retailer for electronics and positioning the brand as an electronics retailer, Maplins is our ninth least popular retail brand in 2021.

However, after failed talks for a buyer, Maplin officially closed down its physical stores in 2018, becoming an online retailer only.

Adding further to Maplins decline in popularity is the increase in popularity for online retailers like Amazon who’s prices, products and delivery dates are unmatched by competitors.

Boots Opticians

British health, beauty retailer, and pharmacy chain, Boots is a British favourite and continues to experience success. Its counterpart, Boots opticians, however, has not achieved the same level of abundance.

Even with the promise of free eye tests, Boots Opticians is not the opticians of choice compared to more trusted and long-standing brands, such as Specsavers which also supersede Boots Opticians in prices too.

The final nail in the coffin it seems for this brand is the impact of the pandemic, resulting in 48 branches closing and cutting 4,000 jobs as a result of the lockdown. Boots opticians retail sales fell by 48% although Boots itself still encounters many happy shoppers.

There you have it, the least popular brands in 2021. Some were not meeting new standards of health, while others were simply burned by the ruthlessness of the pandemic.