Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 2 August 2014

Campaign to reopen record shop pays off with store’s Head start

Lisney’s Nicky Finnieston, left, marks the deal with Kenny Hutchinson of Head Records at the new store on Belfast’s Ann Street

A campaign to re-instate a Belfast record shop which shut after a row over lease terms has finally paid off.

Head Records pulled the shutters on its store in Belfast city centre’s Victoria Square in January, triggering a social media campaign highlighting the impact of the loss of the store on music lovers.

Now the business has taken over a 7,500 sq ft shop on Ann Street — just around the corner from its former home.

One fan on Facebook campaign page Save Head Belfast said: “I could spend hours in it, just like the record shops of old, so looking forward to seeing the new store.”

Nine people will work at 42-46 Ann Street after the deal, which was negotiated by commercial property agents Lisney.

Its associate director Nicky Finnieston said: “Head is a full-line CD and DVD retailer which has proven extremely popular during its short time in Victoria Square.

“We are confident it will build upon this success in its new base on Ann Street, providing the street with a quality, sustainable occupant.”

The retail unit now occupied by Head Music was formerly let out to Bonmarche, part of the Peacocks group which went into administration earlier this year.

Head sells online via Amazon UK, Germany, US and France and Play.com and was named Ireland’s best independent music retailer.

Head blamed the closure of its first Belfast shop on failure to negotiate a short-term lease with Victoria Square. The chain was established after Zavvi, formed through a buy-out of Virgin Megastores, went into administration.

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