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Five HMV stores saved after deals done on rent

By | Published on Wednesday 15 January 2020


HMV has confirmed that five of its stores that were facing closure will remain open after new deals were reached with the relevant landlords. Efforts to keep shops in Bristol, Worcester and Dudley open have so far been unsuccessful.

It’s nearly twelve months since Canadian firm Sunrise Records bought HMV out of its second administration in six years. Like previous owner Hilco, Sunrise has been working hard to keep the UK retailer’s overheads down, looking for the best possible deals on rent and moving stores around where necessary.

As part of that process, it emerged earlier this month that a number of HMV shops were set to close completely. Although for many of them, talks were ongoing with landlords to see if rents could be sufficiently cut to allow the stores to stay open.

HMV branches in Bury St Edmunds and Nuneaton, and an outpost of its Fopp brand in Glasgow, are definitely going. Meanwhile, in Leeds and Birmingham, where HMV launched new stores in 2019, the retailer’s old bases in those cities will close their doors later this month.

However, there were eight other shops where closure might be averted if new deals could be agreed with each store’s landlord. Such deals have now been reached to save HMV shops in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Reading, Sheffield and Grimsby. As it currently stands, new deals have not been done with the landlords of three other shops in Bristol, Worcester and Dudley.

Confirming that five of the shops previously facing closure would now stay open, HMV said in a statement: “We are delighted to announce that we have been able to secure new agreements on five stores which were previously under threat of closure”.

“After previously widespread reports of the closure of these stores”, it added, “this is great news for our staff and for our loyal customers in the communities, who can continue to look to HMV to provide the best entertainment offer on the high street and online”.

As for Bristol, Worcester and Dudley, the HMV statement went on: “Unfortunately, some previously mentioned stores still remain under threat of closure at the end of this month unless new deals can be agreed”.

HMV’s new owners recently echoed statements previously made by Hilco when it put the entertainment retailer into administration at the end of 2018, to the effect that “extortionate” business rates charged by local authorities made some stores unviable even where landlords were willing to negotiate to an extent on rent payments.