Jobs threat as HMV announces 60 stores to close

Norwich could be in line for store closures this year after HMV announced plans to axe 60 branches nationally.

The music and entertainment chain, which also owns book retailer Waterstone's, said yesterday it would shut 40 HMV stores and 20 Waterstone's in 2011 after a slump in trade.

While the company is still in the process of deciding which branches to close, officials at the firm said the focus was likely to be on cities with more than one store.

Norwich has two HMV stores within about 200 metres of each other, one in Chapelfield shopping centre and one on the corner of Davey Place and Gentleman's Walk.

The two city centre Waterstone's are about 50 metres apart, one on the Royal Arcade and one on Castle Street, with a third branch at the University of East Anglia campus.

A spokesman said: 'The process of choosing which stores will close is still under way, but the majority of closures will be in cities where there is more than one store.'

The announcement follows a 13.6pc dip in sales over the key Christmas trading period compared to the same period the previous year, with trade 'significantly undermined' by the poor weather.

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The company also announced plans for a further �10m annual cost savings, and said there would be an unknown number of redundancies as a result.

Yesterday, fashion retailer Next also said snow had hit sales, contributing to a 6.1pc drop in the period from August to Christmas Eve.

But department store John Lewis reported an 8.9pc rise in sales in the five weeks to January 1 compared to the same period in 2009/10, with online sales up 42pc and a 14.4pc increase in demand for electrical goods.