Future of music and book shops uncertain as HMV cuts stores

THE future of Stevenage’s remaining music shop is uncertain after the high street entertainment chain HMV announced it would close 60 shops after sales plummeted.

The company, which also owns Waterstone’s, with a store next door to HMV in Stevenage as well as one in Hitchin, is expected to shut 40 HMV shops and 20 Waterstone’s over the next 12 months in a response to falling sales.

A spokesman for the company said: “At the end of the day we are talking about a relatively small number of stores, which in the main are likely to be located in large-city conurbations and trading in close proximity to each other -resulting in a degree of duplication in relation to local demand.

“However, while we are pleased to say that the majority of HMV stores around the country are unlikely to be affected, we will also have to review the future of some stores that may be potentially no longer viable given increasingly high rents and other associated running costs, although we are not yet in a position to say which these will be.”

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