Most Popular Retail Brands in 2021

Since the lifting of the national lockdown in 2021, the retail industry has been booming in the UK. Profits have increased and millions of people are flocking to their stores. According to research conducted by Opening-Times using Google search data, many retail brands have been relatively popular during the pandemic, judging by their high volumes of search traffic.

At first, this may be surprising, considering the UK has been put under three strict lockdowns, but it turns out that many retailers were deemed essential and allowed to stay open. This is because many retailers such as Tesco, Morrisons, Lidl and Sainsburys sell produce and other essential household items.

Also, many companies have turned to online retailing, as a way to keep profits up. Because of the lockdown, many people have opted for click and deliver, meaning they can shop for produce and other goods from the comfort of their own homes. As a result, millions of people are searching for them on Google in order to get products delivered, increasing retailers’ search volumes.

Keep reading to find out which retail brands are popular with Britons, what goods they sell and whether they offer click and delivery.

Most popular retail brands in 2021

On this list, many of the brands may have earned their popularity due to their high number of sales and profits during the lockdowns. Although the lockdown restrictions have eased across the UK, many retail brands are still doing deliveries, which may be the reason behind their high search volumes.

Let’s uncover the research and find out which brands are the most popular in the UK.


Argos, the UK’s largest catalogue retailer, takes the number one spot on this list. Versatile and enterprising, this brand sells a variety of things such as home and furniture, electronics and appliances, toys and games, garden and DIY, sports gear, makeup and even clothes and jewellery. Argos also has phone providers such as EE at some of its branches, which may save people time in going out of town to the nearest EE store.

Due to the pandemic, Argos became one of the main retailers people used when shopping online since branches were temporarily closed during the pandemic. As a result, it’s become one of the most popular brands in the UK this year, with 16,600,000 online searches.

The Range

Another UK retailer that sells furniture, lighting, kitchen appliances and more. Like many retailers, The Range has remained open throughout the pandemic and has continued trading and selling essentials to millions of Britons.

As a result of its continued service throughout the lockdowns, it’s achieved 3,350,000 searches in 2021, a lot higher than other rivals like B&M and Halfords.

Pets at Home

Pets at Home is a British pet supplies retailer selling mainly food, toys, bedding, medication and more. Due to more people getting a pet in lockdown, it makes sense that it’s one of the popular retailers currently.

Although it’s one of the most popular retailers in the UK, Pets at Home is lower on the list with 1,830,000 searches. This is surprising since 70% of all households now own a pet, a significant increase since the pandemic started.


B&M is one of the largest UK retailers, with over three million shoppers per week. This retailer sells a variety of items, much like its competitor Argos. You’ll find a variety of products there, such as home and garden furniture and lighting, electrical items and kitchen appliances, toys and games, household products, DIY, health and beauty products everyday essentials and food and drink.

The draconian lockdowns haven’t stopped B&M from closing its doors. Many branches remained open throughout the pandemic since they sold essential items such as food, cleaning items and pet products. B&M is one of the most popular retail brands in 2021, with 2,740,000 searches in the UK.

Halfords Most Popular Retail Brands in 2021


Halfords takes its mission in inspiring and supporting a lifetime of motoring and cycling literally, by selling cycling gear and equipment as well as bikes. Due to the closure of gyms during the pandemic, people have resorted to doing daily exercise such as walks and running. Now, more people are opting to cycle everywhere since non-essential car journeys have been a massive no-no over the past year.

As a result, Halfords’ profits have been soaring, with many people buying their bicycles and other products. The increase in its customer base has resulted in Halfords’ high search volume this year – 2,740,000.


Toolstation is the go-to retailer for anything related to DIY and electrical supplies. From hand tools, plumbing and central heating supplies, to cleaning products and pest control, this retailer is key to keeping your house in pristine condition.

Despite the pandemic, its branches remained open, with many customers buying their appliances and tools to help fix their baths, ovens and so on. Due to their cheap prices and free delivery on orders over £25.00, people have been choosing Toolstation to buy their tools. Toolstation has a high online traffic volume, with over 2,740,000 searches on Google.


Founded in 1992, Cex specialises in second-hand goods such as technology repair, video games, DVDs and other gadgets. Sales increased during the lockdown mainly because people had to work from home and needed new technology and other gadgets to help them adjust to

Although it received a backlash for operating during lockdown despite being a non-essential retailer, it’s one of the most popular retail brands in the UK, with over 2,240,000 searches on Google.


Smyths is – understandably – one of the most popular retail brands in the UK due to selling toys and games to children of all ages. Because Toys R Us stopped trading in the UK in 2018, Smyths took the top place as the most popular toy retailer in the UK. Due to many children not attending school during the pandemic, children have been bored at home, which may be why sales have skyrocketed significantly at Smyths.

As of August 2021, it’s still one of the most popular multinational retailers in the UK, for it has 2,240,000 searches from – presumably – parents and children.


GAME is the UK’s biggest game retailer. It’s also the most popular in 2021, with 1,830,000 searches alone. Considering the current climate and the fact that many students have not been in school much, it’s understandable that sales will have increased.

GAME does exactly what it does on the tin: it sells games. GAME provides games for the Xbox, PlayStation and the PC, as well as the console and the Nintendo Wii and DS. It also sells toys from other brands such as LEGO, Disney and Pokemon.