Roku Streaming Sticks Have Disappeared From UK Stores

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In an intriguing turn of events that has left British consumers puzzled, Roku streaming sticks, once a staple in the world of digital entertainment, have seemingly vanished from both online and high-street retailers across the UK.

This development has sparked a wave of speculation and concern among fans of the brand, known for its user-friendly interface and diverse streaming options.

While Roku TVs – television sets with the Roku operating system built-in – remain readily available and are being heavily promoted by the company, the sought-after streaming sticks are now almost impossible to find as new purchases within the country.

As fans in the UK grow increasingly worried, we reached out to Roku to uncover what’s happening.

Roku’s Road In The UK

Roku, an American company founded in 2002, has been at the forefront of the streaming revolution, offering a range of devices that transform traditional TVs into Smart TVs.

Polaroid Roku TV living room jpg

While Roku has never been as popular as Amazon’s Fire TV Sticks in the UK, it has certainly carved out a niche for itself with its streaming sticks.

In the UK, Roku offers the Roku Express, Roku Express 4K, and Roku Streaming Stick 4K, each catering to different user needs and budgets (see our detailed Roku comparison guide), as well as the Roku Streambar, which combines a soundbar with a streaming device.

These devices have been lauded for their simplicity, affordability, and the vast array of streaming services and apps they offer access to, including Netflix, Amazon’s Prime Video, Disney+, BBC iPlayer and countless others.

Roku Comparison 2022 - boxes hero
Roku Streaming Devices

Roku’s Stock Issues: A Timeline Of Events

The scarcity of Roku streaming sticks first became apparent around December 2023, before Christmas, when it became quite hard to find a Roku device for the holidays.

When Cord Busters reached out to Roku for comment, in December, a spokesperson acknowledged the issue, stating:

“We are currently low on stock on Roku Streaming Players.

“We look forward to our streaming devices being available again in the New Year. Smart TVs with the Roku operating system built-in are still available at all major retailers.”

Fast forward to February 2024, and the situation has only worsened, with no signs of the stock returning.

Sad couple in TV store

We contacted Roku again this week, and the explanation remained similar:

“We are currently experiencing shipping delays on Roku Streaming Players, and they are due to be back in stock later this month.

“We apologise for any inconvenience caused and remain committed to offering customers in the UK a seamless smart TV experience with Roku Streaming Players and Roku TVs.”

Consumer Frustration And Speculation

The prolonged absence of Roku streaming sticks from the market has not gone unnoticed by the British public, many of whom have taken to social media to express their frustration (and some reaching out to us via email).

The response from Roku on social media has been consistent, urging patience and promising a resolution soon.

Moving to speculation territory, there could be several reasons for the (hopefully temporary) disappearance of the Roku sticks:

Anticipation of New Device Launches: One prevalent theory suggests that Roku may be on the verge of launching new streaming devices.

After all, the Roku Express has been with us since 2016, and the newest stick – the Roku Streaming Stick 4K – launched back in 2021.

Roku Streaming Stick 4K in the box

Since then, Amazon has released several new iterations of its Fire TV line, and Roku’s sticks have been left behind, at least in terms of hardware.

This anticipation has led some to speculate that the company is intentionally reducing the production of current models to clear the way for upcoming releases.

If true, this strategy could be aimed at preventing an overlap in the market, ensuring that the new devices receive the spotlight without competition from older models. 

Strategic Shift Towards Roku TVs: Another speculation points towards a strategic pivot by Roku, focusing more on Roku TVs in the UK rather than the standalone streaming sticks.

Metz Roku TV

Over the past year, Roku has indeed been promoting its TVs heavily, forging new partnerships and expanding its presence in the smart TV market – we’ve seen new Roku TVs from Metz, JVC, Sharp, and even ASDA.

This shift could signify a long-term business strategy aiming to capture more of the integrated smart TV market, which offers potentially higher margins and deeper integration into consumers’ living rooms.

However, this focus on Roku TVs may inadvertently de-prioritize the production and distribution of streaming sticks, leaving fans of the portable devices in a lurch.

Roku JVC TV currys living room

Manufacturing and Supply Chain Issues: The final theory revolves around potential technical manufacturing and supply chain issues.

The global tech industry has faced significant challenges in recent years, including disruptions caused by the pandemic, semiconductor shortages, and logistical hurdles.

It’s possible that Roku is encountering similar difficulties, affecting its ability to produce and distribute streaming sticks at scale, and perhaps prioritizing the US.

The UK has always been a less-favoured child of Roku, compared to the US, with some devices (such as the Roku Ultra) never making it to our side of the pond.

While Roku has acknowledged the stock shortages and promised a resolution, the lack of detailed information has left room for speculation among consumers and industry observers.

Hopefully, this will be resolved soon – but for now, Roku’s customers in the UK are eagerly awaiting clarity and hoping for a swift return of the beloved streaming sticks to the market.

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21 thoughts on “Roku Streaming Sticks Have Disappeared From UK Stores”

  1. Just got an email from Argos to say they have now got the 4k stick back in stock. It’s £49.99 so not cheap but worth it in the long run. Just ordered one. Stock probably won’t last long.

  2. Argos has a placeholder for a new 2024 Roku product – it’s HD rather than 4k. It’s called – Roku Express HD Streaming Media Player 2024.

    It’s at quite a good price as well (£29.99). Shame we can’t buy it! I haven’t seen this with any other retailer either and it’s weird Roku themselves haven’t mentioned this product. I’m wondering if they will now only have 4k available for their TVs, to push people to get the TVs?

    That won’t work for me as I grew up in the 80s with poor tv quality, VHS and highly pixelated 8-bit video games. I have no need for 4k. Couldn’t care less. HD is like Christmas for my generation. It’s more than enough.

    • The Roku Express HD has been around for many years, at that price. The only difference I can see on the Argos page is the “2024”, so might just be a placeholder for new stock, if and when it arrives.

      • In the UK? I’ve never seen it reviewed before nor pop up in any other shop as an option to buy. It’s not in the picture you have above either. In any case, the 2024 is a good sign.

        Yes, a placeholder, that’s what I said.

        • In 2022, they released a very minor refresh of the Roku Express in the US. In the UK, they’ve always sold the 3930EU model, but the two are almost identical (and that’s the one in the picture above – that picture just has the older blue packaging)

  3. My NOW stick seemed to partially rebrand to a Roku stick a while ago, which seemed odd. I don’t know if it was related, but perhaps some problems with Roku and NOW (aka Sky) are to blame

  4. Aren’t Roku also tied in with Sky or Now here in the UK? I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re finding the market a little crowded and are looking to push their Now, Sky Stream, and Sky Glass products.

  5. No remote pro, no streambar pro, no subwoofer, no rear surround speakers, we really do get the short end of the stick when it comes to Roku devices, also their customer support is shocking.


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