HMV returning to site of flagship London music store

HMV returning to site of flagship London music store

HMV's historic Oxford Street store in central London in 2011
HMV's historic Oxford Street store in central London in 2011. Photo: BEN STANSALL / AFP/File
Source: AFP

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British music retailer HMV said Friday it will return to the site of its once-flagship store on London's Oxford Street after a turnaround in fortunes for the emblematic company.

HMV had shut the historic branch on the capital's main shopping throughfare in 2019 after falling into financial distress as it struggled to compete with music streaming.

It was eventually rescued by Canada's Sunrise Records for an undisclosed sum.

HMV will be "back by popular demand on Oxford Street", it said in a statement Friday and after the group returned to profit last year.

The branch will reopen in time for Christmas, adding to HMV's network of 120 UK stores.

The retailer has experienced a renaissance under Canadian businessman Doug Putman and will now move into the site of HMV's first store -- opened in 1921 by English composer Edward Elgar and known as 'His Master's Voice'.

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As demand continues to wane for CDs and DVDs, HMV puts an emphasis on selling pop culture merchandise, as well as vinyl and musical equipment including headphones.

The Oxford Street building, which has been operating as a sweet shop, is also set to feature in-store live music and signings.

"The expansion of our fan-focused pop culture offer is really working for us and the reopening of our flagship represents the culmination of a good few years of hard work," Putman said in the statement.

The iconic Oxford Street site is steeped in musical history and helped propel The Beatles to fame, with the Fab Four signed by EMI, the record label that owned HMV until 1996.

Source: AFP

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