Prospective tenants interested in taking on former HMV space
INTEREST in taking over the former HMV shop in the market buildings has been shown by a number of prospective tenants, said the director of the building’s managing company, as the store reopened its doors for a final sale.
More than 1,000 people queued in wet and windy weather outside the shop on Thursday evening, when the store opened its doors for three hours, selling everything at half price.
The local branch of the music giant closed down in early February after the chain was sold to a Canadian retailer, which decided that 27 of the shops had to shut.
Thursday’s sale was organised by Bailiwick Estates, managing agent for the market buildings on behalf of McAulay Ltd.
Director Sonia Taylor said that none of the items on sale actually belonged to HMV and were all owned by various concessionaires in the UK.
‘HMV were warehouse resellers,’ she said.
‘All the concessionaires were given time to come and collect their items.’
Two of the companies came to take away products, but she said the rest considered the items to be too low value to be worth the cost of transporting back to the UK, as well as the VAT that would have to be paid to reimport the goods.
That meant some 58,000 items remained in the shop, which Bailiwick Estates wanted to be cleared to enable it to be let to another business. The former manager of HMV was brought in to organise the cash-only sale and Mrs Taylor said that students were hired to man the tills.
By the time the doors opened for Thursday’s sale, the queue of eager bargain hunters stretched around the building almost as far as New Look on the other side of Market Square.
Door staff saw to it that only a certain number of people were allowed in at once, which meant that those outside had to put up with rain and wind and even a hailstorm at once point.
Among the thousands of items that were being snapped up were CDs, DVDs, videogames, books, T-shirts, turntables, pop vinyl figures and other merchandise.
But there was still a lot left when the doors were closed at 8.30 – and Mrs Taylor said between 40 and 50 people had to be turned away.
Their names were taken and they will be given priority admission to the store when it opens again today, from 9-5.
Once everything, including the shop fittings, has gone, the premises can be let to new tenants.