High streets across the country have faced mounting pressure in recent years as more and more buyers switch to online shopping.
The Covid-19 pandemic, Brexit and the cost of living crisis have also played a part in pushing shops to close and businesses to fail. Commercial Road remains one of Portmouth’s shopping hot-spots, but the high street has changed dramatically over the years. From long-standing businesses such as U-Need-Us – which shut in 2019 after nearly 96 years – to more recent closures like Geek Retreat, there are a striking number of vacant units in the city centre.
We’ve put together a list of shop buildings which are currently sit vacant or awaiting development.
Here are 13 shops on Commercial Road that are currently empty:
1. Debenhams - 134 - 142 Commercial Road
One of the largest empty units on Commercial Road, the site of the former Debenhams department store has been the subject of numerous development proposals. Photo: -
2. Playland Amusements - 1 Lake Road
Playlands Amusements is a disused unit on the corner bewteen Commercial Road and Lake Road. Various new uses have been suggested for the building including a city council drop-in centre as part of the City Centre North regeneration scheme. Photo: Joe Buncle
3. TUI Holiday Store - 248C Commercial Road
This empty unit - nextdoor to The Gold Centre jewellry shop - was formerly a branch of travel agent chain TUI. Photo: -
4. WhatsApp Image 2023-03-11 at 13.43.43.jpeg
Before its closure, the Waterlooville Model Centre was a hub for hobbyists to assembly kits to make miniature aircraft and other scale models. Photo: Waterlooville Model Centre - 225 Commercial Road