Financial crises like the one we are enduring now inevitably claim scalps on the high street, usually when a fall in disposable income hits retailers' bottom line.
But in the last few years, the march of online shopping has been responsible for more high-profile disappearances than the typical recession.
The first big name to go in recent times was Woolworths in 2009. It was joined in the retail graveyard by smaller businesses like Past Times and JJB Sports, then BHS in 2016, and later, Laura Ashley, Toys R Us, Karen Millen, Coast, LK Bennett, Laura Ashley, Easons, Cath Kidston, Oasis, Warehouse and TM Lewin.
Remarkably, the last five were all lost to the high street since the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic, though some of the brands are now being sold online and Easons continues to trade in the Republic.
Peacocks and Edinburgh Woollen Mill are also in administration but most of their shops are still trading.
The shift to spending online began long ago and has simply been accelerated by the pandemic, while shutdowns of non-essential retail have also wiped out months of in-store sales.
Arcadia sells clothes through shops like Topshop, Dorothy Perkins, Wallis and Burton, while clothing has been a significant part of Debenhams' business, often selling Arcadia brands. But they began long ago to haemorrhage market share to online upstarts like ASOS and boohoo.com, which cater to the younger, lower-value end of the market.
The Designers at Debenhams range used to draw the older shopper but now many of them gravitate towards more expensive niche brands like Boden and Hush online, or Mint Velvet and Whistles, which have concessions in House of Fraser.
In future, affluent shoppers will still want to visit high streets to combine retail therapy with a nice lunch. At the other end of the market, lower-value giants like Primark, which are so sure of their store appeal that they have no meaningful online presence, will continue to pull in large numbers.
Bookseller Waterstones had been badly hit by the ascent of online retail giant Amazon, which started out specialising in books for much lower prices than every day bookshops. But Waterstones in particular has managed to survive by providing a niche experience of a cosy atmosphere and eager booksellers with personalised recommendations - and by doing away with offers like the infamous 'three for two' deal which served only to undermine the value of the books you were buying.
Now the administration of Arcadia Group and the prospect of the closure of Debenhams stores seem to mark last orders for the high street as we know it.
When we are doing our Christmas shopping next year, we are likely to have a lot less choice, though you can be sure that the demand for Primark will be stronger than ever.