THE city's only HMV store remains at risk of closing permanently despite several other stores across the country announcing they are to be saved.

Music retailer HMV announced it would be closing its only Worcester store permanently at the end of January, as one of several across the country, due to “extortionate” business rates in certain locations.

The Worcester News reported the shop, in the city’s High Street, would be closed by the end of the month and signs in the window suggested an imminent closure but there is still no official word on an exact date or whether a deal to save the threatened store could be reached.

The music retailer warned stores in Bristol and Merry Hill in Brierley Hill could still be forced to closed at the end of January unless new deals were agreed.

However, the firm said that five of its other stores, which had been at risk of closing, will now remain open after the company was able to secure new agreements with its landlords.

Stores in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Reading, Sheffield and Grimsby have been saved.

Two other stores in Birmingham and Leeds - which the company previously said were also at risk - are to be shut at the end of the month, bringing the total due to close across the UK in January to five.

In a previous statement, the music retailer said: “The closures are no reflection on our superb staff and where we are not able to come to a new agreement or relocate staff within the business elsewhere, unfortunately this does mean some of our staff will lose their jobs.

HMV has been owned by music mogul Doug Putman, after it crashed into administration for the second time in five years in December 2018.

Mr Putman, who runs the Canadian retailer Sunrise Records, closed 15 stores after taking control of the business and, in December, it was announced that Worcester was to be another.

At the end of last year, an HMV spokesman said: “Regretfully we can confirm that HMV Worcester will be closing, despite our desire to continue trading in this location.”

Neil Taylor, who looks after Mr Putman’s business interests in the UK, also added at the time: “Unfortunately, on this occasion the store was no longer a viable business option for us under the lease terms, so we had no choice but to close it.”