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HMV bosses hope to stay in city after store shuts doors
THE future of HMV in the city is unclear after it was confirmed the store on Cornmarket would close.
HMV bosses say they want to move to another store in Oxford, but a relocation has not been confirmed.
It means that the future of HMV workers is not known.
Shoppers reacted with shock to the news.
Since the branch in Oxford’s busiest shopping street opened in the late 1980s, it has played host to gigs and record signings.
Local bands such as Young Knives and Foals have performed there, while it has also attracted national stars ranging from rapper Professor Green to model and businesswoman Caprice and comedian Eddie Izzard.
It was also one of only a handful of places nationwide where music fans could queue up to buy tickets for the Reading Festival.
St Giles resident Allen Hughes, 46, said: “HMV is one of the best shops left in Oxford. I am a big music fan and I spend a lot of money on DVDs as well.
“I prefer coming in to HMV and I don’t like shopping online for music as I like the physical feel of an album.”
Franklin Braga, 40, from Banbury, said: “I am really sad and I can’t believe it’s closing. I am a huge music fan and I am really shocked, especially as this store stayed open when lots of other HMV stores were closing. It offers something you can’t otherwise get in Oxford.”
Marston resident John Williams, 58, said: “I am very surprised by this news and it’s disappointing for me as I don’t have an online presence and so come here to shop for my music.”
The company went into administration last January because of weak consumer spending and intense competition from the internet.
It was saved in April when restructuring firm Hilco bought 141 stores across the UK, including the Oxford shop, for a reported £50m from administrators Deloitte.
But now it will finally lose the store in the middle of Cornmarket, HMV has confirmed.
Staff member Lewis Harris said: “The staff have had one-on-ones with the management team and they said they were doing everything in their power to keep our jobs.
“We may have to move to another store in the meantime, while we try to move somewhere else. We are still trying to keep a presence in Oxford and I am confident we will find another store.”
He added: “We are the last of our kind of store left so people shopping over the weekend were a bit gutted, but we wanted to reassure them that the plan is to open another store.”
HMV head office did not comment, but on its Twitter feed, the firm said: “Just to give you all an update on the store. We will sadly be closing at the end of February. We will, hopefully, be moving into a new location soon, but we cannot confirm where as of yet.”
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