HMV store in Portsmouth city centre to close

The HMV store in Portsmouth city centre
The HMV store in Portsmouth city centre
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ONE of Portsmouth’s few remaining music stores is closing down.

The News understands the Commercial Road branch of HMV will close on June 18.

HMV would not comment on the closure, but a staff member said the chain’s Gunwharf Quays store would be staying open.

The Commercial Road store opened in 1969.

HMV went into administration last year but was saved from going under when restructuring specialists Hilco UK bought it out.

Kevin Briscoe is chairman of the Portsmouth Area Committee of the Hampshire Chamber of Commerce.

He said: ‘It’s a great pity for the city centre of Portsmouth to lose a retailer such as HMV, and to have lost occupancy of one of the significant units in Commercial Road.

‘There’s a real human cost as well because a number of people are going to lose their jobs because of this.’

Mr Briscoe added: ‘It wasn’t long ago that every other shop was a record shop or a CD shop.

‘But times have changed and people access their music and entertainment in different ways.

‘That doesn’t get away from the fact that this is a blow for the centre of Portsmouth.’

Mr Briscoe said he hoped the planned redevelopment of the Northern Quarter would revitalise the area.

Dave Allen, 64, of Old Portsmouth, is a retired university lecturer, musician and historian of Portsmouth’s music scene.

He said: ‘It’s very sad when music stores close down.

‘I’m still the kind of guy that will go and enjoy browsing in a record store, but I’m not sure that’s a common thing any more.’

Mr Allen said he fondly remembered a time when there was also a Virgin record store in Commercial Road, and the two outlets were a hive of teenage activity.

He said: ‘They were at the heart of what you might have called the swinging 60s in Portsmouth.

‘Teenagers would congregate down there on Saturdays and spent a lot of time looking at clothes and records in stores.

‘Then we’d all go off dancing in the evening.

‘It was all part of a strong sense of community in Portsmouth and I’m very glad to have lived through it.’

‘A city such as Portsmouth needs to have a vital and varied and attractive city centre to attract people and traders.’

(waiting on a comment from council)