Impending store closures may bring in ‘new blood’, says Abbeycentre manager

Sign of the times: HMV in the Abeycentre is set to close within the next two months. INNT 07-439-RM
Sign of the times: HMV in the Abeycentre is set to close within the next two months. INNT 07-439-RM

ADMINISTRATORS for the crisis hit music chain HMV have confirmed the Abbeycentre store is to close.

The chain had fallen into administration at the start of the year and administrators had stepped in to find a buyer for the shops while business continued.

Accountancy firm Deloitte announced last week that nine branches in Northern Ireland were to close with the potential loss of 12 jobs.

A spokesman said there may be an opportunity for staff to be moved around the remaining stores and they could not confirm when individual shops would close.

He said stores across Northern Ireland would be closing over the next two months.

HMV’s demise is the latest in a long line of high street retailers which have gone under in recent years.

Hoi Polloi, which also has a store in the Abbeycentre, is also set to close after it went into administration at the beginning of the year.

Abbeycentre manager Mark Stewart said the closures would provide opportunity for new investment.

He said: “Rather than dwell on the negatives it is a chance for new blood to set up.

“There is not a year goes past that a business is not forced to close.

“We have been here over 35 years and if businesses remained the same it would be a very boring retail landscape and I would be confident that we will see new businesses take up the units left vacant by these closures.”

Glyn Roberts represents independent trader in Northern Ireland, he said the closure was a ‘big loss’ to the local retail sector.

He said: “Sadly it is not just the loss of jobs but the impact the reduced footfall will have on nearby traders where HMV is located.

“We need to see the Executive bring forward a shop vacancy and retail strategy which will help revitalise town centres and generate a the next generation of retail entrepreneurs.”