I think that is too simplistic a reason for Oi Polloi going.
They themselves admit they made some bad business decisions and this was before any lockdowns. It isn’t like JD were any kind of competitor, JD wasn’t selling Beams Plus 50% less then Oi Polloi were.
So they were going under until JD gave then a lifeline. The last couple of years has effectively been JD with the Oi Polloi name stuck over it. It wasn’t an independent. The OP model of independent store or they way they chose to run it didn’t work after a period of time. Just like Eleven with a few bad decisions went awry. And Eleven really was tops 2001-2007.
I’m not an accountant but were Oi Polloi even with JD behind them making a profit, they weren’t going to run it forever if it was making a loss.
Every time you try something on in an independent and that get it online a few quid cheaper from a major you are driving another nail in the coffin of independent shops. We all do it. Bit like when people look around and wonder why hardly anything is made in UK, yes because we looked to get it cheaper elsewhere.
So best thing to do is to thank NL and SS for what they have done, and support true independent stores and those who manufacture in the UK.
I bought a few things in there over the years. Their customer service wasn’t up to much. I’m not saying I needed to be fawned over, but at least show some fucking interest. Perhaps I was unlucky enough to catch them on multiple bad days.