Saved! Good news on HMV Harrogate

Saved! How HMV Harrogate looked earlier in the week.
Saved! How HMV Harrogate looked earlier in the week.

The last update the Harrogate Advertiser published about the fate of Harrogate's HMV store saw worried staff waiting on news of the shop was definitely closing.

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The "everything must go signs" were up above the HMV shop's doorway in Victoria Shopping Centre.

Now those signs are down and the news is HMV Harrogate is to remain open!

The Harrogate Advertiser had learned that talks had been going on between HMV and the shopping centre and the property's owners who are a global real estate services provider listed on the London Stock Exchange.

The issue, we learned was the rent, and the desire of national music and film chain HMV's new owners to secure rent reductions to reflect shrinking footfall in challenging times for the retail sector across Britain.

Before the closure signs were pulled down, HMV Harrogate staff, who had looked visibly upset, as did many of the shop's loyal customers, were waiting on the outcome of those talks.

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James White, the general manager of Harrogate's key shopping centre, had told the Harrogate Advertiser that talks were still ongoing on HMV's future in the town, even at this late stage.

Mr White had said: “We are in advanced discussions with HMV about the future of the store at Victoria Shopping Centre.

“We’re continuing to work hard to ensure that we have the best possible retail mix for the people of Harrogate."

When troubled retail giant HMV was first taken over by Canadian music group Sunrise Records, Harrogate was not on the list of 27 stores facing closure in it 100-plus high street stores across the UK.

That is why the original news of the threat of closure of the Harrogate branch had come as such as shock.

Now all seems safe - for now - for Harrogate shoppers and staff.

Although sales of both physical CDs and DVDs in the UK are falling in the face of streaming and online sales from the likes of Amazon, the income for HMV and the music and film industries is still substantial.