HMV wanted rent-free shop unit says shopping centre

HMV's Newlands Centre branch is to close in January
HMV's Newlands Centre branch is to close in January

The boss of the Newlands Shopping Centre in Kettering has said he is disappointed that the town is to lose its branch of HMV – but added that the national chain had not wanted to pay any rent to retain the unit.

HMV says the branch, which employs six full-time members of staff, will be closing on January 25, 2014.

In a statement released last week, the company said the closure had come about because HMV had ‘not been able to agree appropriate terms with the landlord’.

However, Mark Robinson, founding partner of Ellandi, which owns the Newlands Centre, said HMV had said they would only keep the shop open if they could have the unit rent-free.

He added: “I want to make it clear that we are disappointed to be losing HMV.

“We supported the firm during their last restructuring by reducing their rent and also giving them a rent-free period.

“We have got good interest in that unit from a number of national retailers and we will be making an announcement in the new year – as well as other exciting announcements about bringing national retailers to the town.

“Every year we invest hundreds of thousands of pounds in the Newlands Centre and we have ambitious plans.”

In its statement, HMV said the six staff affected by the closure were being consulted in an effort to redepoly them to another branch.

They added: “HMV would like to take this opportunity to pass on our sincere thanks to all of our customers in Kettering for their support over the years and to thank the team in the HMV store for their contribution and dedication.”