County news: HMV store to close over ‘increasing costs’

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Staff at a Sussex HMV branch learned last week that the store is set to close in the New Year.

The move is reportedly a result of rising rents at Brighton’s Churchill Square, although the owners of the shopping centre - Standard Life Investments - did not comment on the rumoured rent rise.

The 25 staff working at Brighton’s HMV were told they are at risk of redundancy, but the chain would attempt to move as many staff as possible to neighbouring stores.

A spokesperson for HMV said: “The HMV store in Churchill Square Shopping Centre, Brighton will unfortunately be closing at the end of January 2017. This is no reflection upon the dedication and effort of the store team, but due to increasing costs associated with the site. Despite our best efforts we have not been able to secure an appropriate alternative site.

“Where possible we will endeavour to redeploy as many of the 25 store team members as possible to an alternative store, however colleagues are at risk of redundancy and have begun the consultation process. Brighton is a very important location for HMV in which we have traded since 1970; we will continue to search for an alternative site in the hope of reopening in the city. We would like to take the opportunity to thank hmv Brighton’s many loyal customers for their continued support. If we can’t secure an alternative site, our nearest store will be hmv Worthing and customers can also shop online at store.hmv.com.”

A spokesperson from Standard Life Investments - which owns Churchill Square - said: “We can confirm that the HMV store at Churchill Square will close in January 2017, following the decision not to renew its lease. As with all our centres, we constantly review the retailer mix at Churchill Square to ensure we provide the best possible retail experience for our customers and can’t comment further.”

Other HMV stores in Sussex include Worthing, Eastbourne, Chichester and Crawley.