Further closure news, as HMV continues to negotiate with landlords in spite of putting the ‘closing down’ signs up.
At the start of the month, we reported that entertainment retailer HMV was kicking off 2020 by having to re-evaluate the future of a bunch of its stores. The list that we had then, of stores set to be closed by the end of January, read as follows:
Birmingham Bull Ring
Bury St Edmonds
Now, plans are apparently afoot to find a fresh site for the chain in Plymouth, and the Leeds and Birmingham Bull Ring closures have come about because of new HMV stores opening near the sites affected. Thus the old shops are shuttering.
We’d visited one of the affected Midlands sites, and chatted to one or two of the brilliant staff affected. As suspected, whilst HMV is preparing to close the stores at the end of this month, there are also ongoing negotiations. That the chain is looking for landlords to drop the rents it has to pay, and it feels as though there’s a little bit of hardball going on here. That by putting up the closing down signs, HMV is signalling to the landlords it’s negotiating with that it’s willing to walk away if a deal can’t be struck.
In the case of the Merry Hill store, that’s worked too. Over the last day or two, the closing down signs have been removed, and the branch can now press ahead without fear of closure (at least for the time being).
More as we hear it on the other branches affected.
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