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HMV to open in Barnstaple for two months over Christmas

By North Devon Journal  |  Posted: November 01, 2012

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THE MANAGER of an independent store in Barnstaple is furious about HMV opening a pop-up shop in the area over the Christmas period.

From Monday, to January 5, the store, which sells a range of CDs, DVDS, video games, headphones and other equipment, will open in Green Lanes shopping centre.

Chris Stirland, manager at I-Lab in Barnstaple High Street said they had been forced to stop advertising for extra staff over the festive period due to fears HMV would take customers away.

He said: "It has come to kill Christmas for all of us. It is just very frustrating. I have spoken to a few other shops. I didn't realise how much effect it will have. I have got members of staff looking on job sites.

"They do everything we do but they do it in massive bulk orders so everything will be half the price.

"If they were going to be there all year round we could see it as a positive. It is always going to effect us but for two months rather than two years the pill is harder to swallow.

"We are on a yearly lease. Prices go up each year. We have looked to go into Green Lanes but they charge prices that only major stores can afford.

Mr Stirland said I-Lab wanted to open additional stores in four or five years' time, but this would only serve to knock the business backwards.

Jan Dayman, Green Lanes centre manager, said: "It is good news for the shopping centre. It is a great addition to our Christmas offerings. They are creating about ten jobs for that period."

Gennaro Castaldo, head of press and PR for HMV, said HMV had wanted to open a permanent branch in the area for a while and the pop-up shop could be a way of testing the response from shoppers.

He said: "Where we have done this in other locations it does prove to be very successful."

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