FASHION retailers have outlined plans to take over the city centre shop vacated by music chain HMV.
The music store closed for the last time on Wednesday after occupying the site in Oxford’s Cornmarket Street since the 1980s.
A planning application was submitted earlier this year on behalf of Blacks, the outdoor clothing outlet, to change the shop fascia, and is still being considered by the council.
A similar application for new fascia for Superdry was submitted to the city council in July last year and approved in August.
Graham Jones, of city traders’ group ROX, said: “I think it’s good news that clothing stores are lining up to take over the former HMV store. We don’t want to see large city centre units left empty for a long time.
“It’s a very large store and Superdry would be in a better position in Cornmarket Street than where it is now in St Ebbe’s Street — it would get more footfall.
“There’s a Blacks in St Aldate’s and that could move round into Cornmarket.”
Allan Gunne-Jones, planning consultant for London-based Planning and Development Associates, acting on behalf of Blacks, said: “The application for Blacks is a live application — the Superdry fascia has been approved.”
Oxford Fashion Week coordinator Carl Anglim said: “Superdry is a casual, trendy British fashion label which has taken its inspiration from Japan and that has made it internationally successful.
“David Beckham wore it a few years ago and it has been going strong ever since. St Ebbe’s is a bit off the beaten track so I think this would be good news for Superdry and good news for Cornmarket.”
City council leader Bob Price said: “I’m aware of Superdry’s plans to move into Cornmarket.
“Footfall is very high and fashion chains like Superdry will appeal to young shoppers.”
According to the Superdry plans, the sales floor will be refurbished and a new glazed shopfront will be installed, with new timber framing.
There will also be new flooring, featuring European distressed oak floorboards.
Planning officers said in a report the existing HMV shop front was given planning permission in the mid-1990s and was now looking “rather tired”.
They concluded the application should be approved as the proposed shop front would be similar in appearance to other shops in Cornmarket.
It is not yet known when Blacks or Superdry would open.
Fashion chain H&M opened its new 3,000 sq m three-floor store in the Clarendon Centre in March.
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