The St Albans branch of HMV is unlikely to close, despite an announcement this morning of record losses.

HMV, which also owns the Waterstone’s bookshop brand, announced dismal Christmas trading results this morning, with sales down ten per cent on last year.

The company blamed “challenging trading conditions” and the severe December weather for the slump as it announced the closure of some 60 stores nationwide – 40 of its record shops and 20 book shops.

HMV spokesman Gennaro Castaldo said St Albans was unlikely to be affected as the company would only look to target towns and cities where it has more than one of each shop.

Mr Castaldo said: “We are actually talking about a relatively small number of stores across HMV and Waterstone's chains - less than 10 per cent of our combined estates, which are likely to be located primarily in large-city conurbations and may be in close proximity to each other – thus resulting in a degree of duplication in relation to local demand, which is obviously not an issue in St Albans.

“This move in no way signals any intention to pull out of entertainment retail, which remains at the heart of our offer, and is ultimately aimed at safeguarding our core business as we continue our transformation into a broad-based entertainment brand that now also encompasses live music venues and festivals.”

Mr Castaldo also stressed there was no chance of the company merging its HMV and Waterstone’s stores in St Peter’s Street.