Music store to close - 74 days after opening

PUBLISHED: 11:00 06 January 2011

HMV Weston super Mare

HMV Weston super Mare

Archant

A BIG name store is set to 
disappear from Weston - only months after it opened.

HMV in the Sovereign Shopping Centre opened on November 10, but was only on a short-term lease, which is due to expire on January 22.

The company said at the time it would explore the idea of extending its tenancy if Christmas trade was sufficiently profitable.

However, bosses have now said they are not sure how ‘commercially viable’ the store would be if it opened for a longer period of time, and it has no plans to extend the lease.

The decision is sure to come as a blow to music and film lovers in Weston, with no other specialist store open in the town.

The retail chain, which has 263 stores in the UK, says that the decision was made having taken into account running costs, rent, employee wages, stock costs and other business expenses.

Gennaro Castaldo, a spokesman for HMV, said: “We’re pleased to say that our short lease site in the Sovereign Shopping Centre in Weston proved popular during the past few months that it was open.

“However, whilst it performed well to meet the increased demand that typically builds in the run-up to Christmas, particularly for gift-purchasing, it’s not clear how commercially viable this site would remain if it operated on a more permanent basis, so for this main reason there are no plans to extend trading at this time.”

Mr Castaldo added the ‘pop-up’ arrangement of the last few months may be repeated for a similar period of time later this year, saying that it ‘proved popular with many shoppers at a key time of year when they most require a specialist entertainment retail offer’.

He added: “In the meantime we’d like to thank all our customers who shopped in the store, as well as our colleagues for their hard work and commitment during this period.”

Nick Cooke, manager of the Sovereign Shopping Centre, said: “My understanding is that they achieved trading expectations and were generally pleased with the performance of the unit. The only other feedback I have received is that the unit is considered too small for their preferred trading format.

“We shall be discussing their intentions with them over the next week or so. We will endeavour to retain them where possible as we believe it is what Weston needs.”

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