HMV to seek new Belfast home in event of city centre store closure

HMV has said it wishes to stay at its current Belfast home at Donegall Arcade
Gareth McKeown

HMV has said it will seek alternative premises in Belfast should its city centre store close its doors next month.

The retailer's managing director, Neil Taylor confirmed the company has yet to reach an agreement with the landlord at Donegall Arcade over a new lease, but would like to remain at its current home.

On Wednesday store closure signs were put up at the Belfast site, with the shutters expected to come down on April 28.

In a statement to The Irish News, Mr Taylor said they remain "extremely keen" to reach an agreement with landlord, Sports Direct to stay at its city centre home.

"Having an HMV store in Belfast is very important to us, as it is a busy and vibrant city and we have always had great feedback from our customers. We would very much like to remain in our current location for as long as possible, however terms being discussed with the landlord currently don't provide for a long term viable store in Belfast," he said.

"We remain extremely keen to come to an agreement that avoids the need to close such an important store for us and we are very open to find a deal that works for both ourselves and the landlord."

In the event that no agreement can be reached the HMV managing director said the retailer will seek a new home in the city.

"Sadly if we are unable to come to agreement then we will be forced to close the Donegall Arcade store towards the end of April and look for premises elsewhere in the city, which will be a great shame, not only for our loyal customers but also the superb team of staff at this store," Mr Taylor added.

The HMV site at Donegall Arcade is the brand's remaining outlet on the island of Ireland and employs 16 staff.

The music retailer collapsed into administration for the second time in six years in December and last month was bought by Canadian firm, Sunrise Records.

As part of the deal it was announced that 27 UK stores, including the retailer's flagship Oxford Street site would close, but Belfast was not among those listed.

Sports Direct had not responded to a request for comment at the time of going to press.

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