IT’S the legendary music shop which has welcomed some of the biggest names in music over the last two-and-a-half decades.

Boomtown Rats frontman Sir Bob Geldof even cut the ribbon on Southampton’s HMV store on Above Bar Street when it opened in 1994.

But the record shop is set to close, the Echo can reveal.

Bosses at HMV say the move is “necessary” to secure the firm’s long term future.

However, the company, which originally opened a Southampton store in the Bargate, could still keep a presence in the city.

A spokesman for HMV said the chain was “actively looking” at relocating to a new store in Southampton.

He said: “We are constantly reviewing our national retail portfolio of almost 130 stores and take all necessary steps to secure our long term future.

“Unfortunately, where it is not possible to agree appropriate terms on a property, we sometimes have to make the difficult decision to close a store, as is the case in Southampton.

“However, we are actively looking for relocation options in Southampton as we have a strong and loyal customer customer base in the area.

“We are proud of our heritage and long retailing history and we intend to continue to develop and strengthen our position as the UK’s leading specialist entertainment retailer.”

The announcement signals the end of HMV’s 24 year history with Above Bar Street.

The company moved to its current premises in July 1994.

Sir Bob Geldof cut the ribbon at the opening, before picking up a guitar and performing to 200 music fans.

Since then the store has played host to a variety of acts including Feeder, Gary Numan, Status Quo, Peter Andre and Busted.

Prior to Above Bar Street, HMV were based at Hanover Building – moving from its first store in the Bargate.

To mark the opening of the new store, Boy George of Culture Club, and Steve Strange from Visage signed autographs.

Police and security guards were taken by surprise by the amount of fans who turned up and, for a while, the street was blocked off as barricades had to be put in place.

Several young fans were treated for minor injuries.

In January 2013, HMV, which is the UK’s last surviving national music retailer, collapsed after months of financial difficulty.

It has suffered due to competition from supermarkets and digital downloads.

HMV was later rescued by restructuring specialist Hilco, which saved 141 branches in a rumoured £50 million deal.

A spokesperson for HMV was unable to confirm when the Above Bar Street shop would close, if there would be job losses or if plans were under way for the opening of a new store in the city.