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Fears raised that HMV's flagship London store could close

Fears have been raised that HMV's flagship London store is set to close.

Landlords for the building have started talks with property agent Savills to surrender the lease, according to Property Week.

Closure of store at 363 Oxford St, which played a part in the Beatles story, would end a 96-year residence on the central London street.

A HMV spokesman said: "While we don't usually comment on individual stores, there is no agreement in place to close the Oxford Street store.

"The HMV portfolio is constantly evolving in order to ensure it best suits the strategy of the business and there are at least two new store openings taking place this year, with more likely to follow."

The original shop was opened by Sir Edward Elgar in 1921.

The shop burnt down in 1937, but was rebuilt and reopened in 1939.

The brand moved to a site further down London's famous shopping street, before returning to its original address in 2013.

It was a visit to the HMV shop in Oxford Street by the Beatles' manager Brian Epstein in 1962 which set their eventual deal in motion.

Epstein called in to see a friend he had made on a retail management course, who suggested his tapes should be transferred to discs - to make it easier to hawk the songs around.

The shop engineer was so impressed he called down a music publisher from the top floor office, who in turn, made a call to producer Sir George Martin's secretary to recommend a meeting with Epstein.

A few days later on February 13, Epstein visited the record label HQ within EMI's Manchester Square office in London, at which Sir George heard the disc and spotted some potential and showed interest in meeting the band.

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