HMV closures 'not an issue in Watford'

First published in News Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author by

Music and entertainment retailer HMV will not be shutting in Watford, despite announcing heavy Christmas losses and the closure of 60 stores.

HMV, which also owns the Waterstone's bookshop brand, said today (Wednesday) sales were down ten per cent over the festive period, blaming the severe weather and “challenging trading conditions”.

The 60 stores to close include 40 branches of HMV and 20 Waterstone's, which represent about ten per cent of total number of UK stores.

However, HMV representative Gennaro Castaldo said Watford would not be affected by any closures as the chain will target towns and cities where it has more than one shop.

Mr Castaldo said: “We are actually talking about a relatively small number of stores across HMV and Waterstone's chains - less than 10 per cent of our combined estates, which are likely to be located primarily in large-city conurbations and may be in close proximity to each other – thus resulting in a degree of duplication in relation to local demand, which is obviously not an issue in Watford.

“The vast majority of HMV stores around the country will not be affected, and we will look to ensure that the specialist offer and service that we make available to our customers in these locations is maintained. Likewise, we will look to redeploy any affected staff where we possibly can.

“The vast majority of HMV stores around the country will not be affected.

HMV representative Gennaro Castaldo

“This move in no way signals any intention to pull out of entertainment retail, which remains at the heart of our offer, and is ultimately aimed at safeguarding our core business as we continue our transformation into a broad-based entertainment brand that now also encompasses live music venues and festivals.”

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