Fears over future of HMV in Bury St Edmunds after disagreement with landlord prompts 'closing down sale'
PUBLISHED: 17:29 28 June 2019 | UPDATED: 17:29 28 June 2019
HMV in Bury St Edmunds is facing closure following a row with its landlords.
'Closing down' signs have appeared in the store windows in the Arc shopping centre, prompting concerns it may be about to close its doors permanently.
HMV bosses are understood to have failed to reach agreement with Arc landlords CBRE over a new lease for the shop in Auction Street and could close by the end of July.
Customers had been previously been told HMV was there to stay after the chain was bought out of administration by Canadian firm Sunrise Records.
Nationally 27 stores closed in February however, the Bury St Edmunds site was spared alongside its Suffolk sister branch in Ipswich.
News of the impending closure has been met with sadness amongst locals and a petition has been set up asking CBRE to come up with a deal.
CBRE has been approached for comment, but a spokesman for HMV said: "HMV are in discussion with the landlord and remain hopeful that an agreement can be reached which will allow us to continue trading in Bury St Edmunds."
The petition has been launched by customer Danny Robertson on Change.Org and had already gained more than 100 signatures in a few hours.
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He said: "The store had a lot planned for the future, with local artists playing in store and adding the facilities to stock their albums as well as their merchandise.
"This would have been an amazing addition to an already thriving Bury St. Edmunds music scene.
"The landlord needs to hear the voices of those who object to the closure of our shop. HMV attracts many unique customers to the Arc, many of which wouldn't usually enter the shopping centre."
Mike Kirkham, business support and marketing officers for Bury St Edmunds Business Improvement District (BID), said: "It is always a sad day when a business closes in Bury.
"HMV have been here for very many years so it would be sad to see them go.
"We realise it is a difficult time but we want to make people realise coming to a town centre like Bury St Edmunds isn't just about shopping. It is about being outside and meeting people and the experience."
Last week, the town lost Gymphobics, a ladies gym which closed its doors suddenly on Monday June 24.
Councillor Susan Glossop, portfolio holder for growth for West Suffolk Council, said: "We are sad that HMV might be closing down. It is sad for the people that work there and for people that use the shop regularly.
"We are working really hard to support the town centre and make it a place that people want to visit."