C&A's two remaining UK stores shut their doors for the last time yesterday. The two remaining branches were located in Hounslow, west London, and Bradford.

The group has blamed fierce competition in the UK clothing market, which it said had cost the company £1m a week in the past five years. But fashion analysts say C&A failed to move with the times.

The group, which is Holland's biggest retailer, announced it would be shutting its 109 British stores, with the loss of 4,800 jobs, last June, following years of losses.

Most branches closed at the end of January, but a handful remained open because the new tenants were not ready to move into the sites.

A spokeswoman for the Hounslow branch said the last few days had been "manic".

"Prices were slashed to clear the stock and the place was overrun with shoppers."

The Brussels-based chain has 577 stores in 12 European countries.