Entertainment retailer HMV Group has confirmed this morning that its store in the Brent Cross shopping centre is part of its closure programme announced earlier this year.
In January the group revealed that it would be closing 60 of its domestic stores, 40 HMV outlets and 20 Waterstone’s shops, to help it manage its cost base and adapt to a changing marketplace.
Several stores from the group’s bookseller arm, Waterstone’s, have already closed and Forever 21 is set to replace an Oxford Street outlet previously owned by the retailer but no other HMV-branded shops scheduled to be closed had been identified until now.
The lease on the Brent Cross store ends at the end of March and despite only having been aware of HMV’s decision not to renew a few days ago, the shopping centre’s owner Hammerson is confident about filling the vacancy.
A spokesman from HMV told Retail Gazette that with the retailer’s stores in central London and another in nearby Harrow, the Brent Cross property was an obvious one to relinquish considering its high rental value.
Nine branches of Waterstone’s closed in the first weekend of February, predominately located around the north of London or in the West Midlands.
In its last set of results HMV reported a 13.3 per cent year-on-year fall in like-for-like sales for ten weeks to January 1st 2010, with trading in the UK & Ireland alone down 14.1 per cent.
Hammerson said that with a less than one per cent vacancy rate Brent Cross was constantly being approach by large retailers for trading space but no discussions had taken place as yet to identify a replacement for the HMV store.