Glasgow Fopp store to close over lease stalemate

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Fop Byres Road
Image caption,
Closing down signs were hung in the shop's window on Christmas Eve

A branch of the record shop chain Fopp is set to close again after owners were unable to negotiate terms of rent.

The troubled Byres Road branch faced closure earlier this year as part of a deal to save the collapsed HMV and Fopp music chain.

The store was given another year's lease - but a new agreement has not been settled, the BBC has learned.

Closing down signs were hung in the shop's windows on Christmas Eve. It is due to close on 25 January.

A source told the BBC: "They can't agree on the terms of the rent - they only got a year last time.

"Staff are feeling rubbish but are trying to be cheerful."

The Fopp brand began its life in 1981 as a stall in De Courcy's Arcade - a short walk from Byres Road.

The company - known for its heavily discounted vinyl and CDs - went into administration in 2007 when it was bought by HMV.

Canadian firm Sunrise Records then bought HMV out of administration in February this year, securing 1,487 jobs across the UK.

But it announced that 27 stores would close, including the Byres Road Fopp store, and outlets in Ayr and the Braehead shopping centre.

Fopp's founder Gordon Montgomery said at the time he was not surprised at the news, citing high rent in the area and a change in footfall.

'The high street needs it'

However Sunrise were persuaded to reopen the Byres Road branch following a "groundswell of support" from customers and bands.

Members of bands like Mogwai, Belle and Sebastian and Arab Strap described how the shop was a key part of their musical education in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Mogwai guitarist Stuart Braithwaite said he was "devastated" when he heard the shop was again facing closure.

He told BBC News: "It's a great shop, and is the kind of thing that high streets need. There's only so many cups of coffee you can consume, you've got to start thinking about why people are in those areas drinking coffee in the first place.

"When we were starting the band we didn't have two pennies to rub together so I think the fact that you could get two CDs for a tenner, which at that point seemed incredibly cheap, was one of the best things.

"They've been very supportive of our label and I know a lot of other Scottish labels have really appreciated the exposure they've given them by good campaigns and racking out all the new releases. That's another loss, it's going to be harder for labels to sell their records."

Fopp and Sunrise Records have been approached for comment.