The pain of flooded stores, damaged stock and loss of trade was particularly acute for those with outlets in Sheffield's landmark Meadowhall shopping centre and the city's Hillsborough centre, which were forced to close on Monday evening. Rotherham's Parkgate centre also closed earlier this week but some stores reopened on Wednesday.
A spokeswoman for Meadowhall, which houses 270 retailers, could not confirm when the centre would reopen. After the River Don burst its banks, Meadowhall's ground-floor stores were flooded earlier this week.
On Monday, Debenhams in Meadowhall was turned into an emergency overnight shelter for 100 shoppers stranded at the centre.
A Debenhams spokeswoman said that there had been little damage to stock, but added that water levels in the store's basement offices had risen to 7ft.
Comet does not have a store in Meadowhall, but four of its stores in the North had to temporarily close. Managing director Hugh Harvey said: 'The flooding this week has been disastrous for several of our stores.'