HMV closes historic Oxford Street store

The store was the biggest music shop in the world, covering 60,000-sq-ft over three floors

HMV's flagship store on London's Oxford Street - the largest music shop in the world - has closed its doors for the last time.

Set over three floors covering 60,000 square feet, the store is the latest casualty of growing online music sales.

HMV's largest store in the UK will now be at 363 Oxford Street, the site of its first shop, opened in 1921 by the composer Sir Edward Elgar.

The Sports Direct retail chain has acquired the lease on 150 Oxford Street and plans to open a branch there later this year.

The closure of the flagship store on Sunday marks a milestone in the history of HMV  - since the store was opened by Sir Bob Geldof in 1986 some of the biggest names in rock and pop have graced its doors and tens of thousands of customers have browsed it CDs and rode on its famous escalators.

Sir Elton John even called for bands to play gigs in HMV stores to support music shops, but the online sales tide was too much and the chain collapsed in January 2013.

In April last year the restructuring specialists Hilco bought HMV for £50 million, although since then over  half of its original stores have closed, with 140 remaining.

In October last year HMV launched a new app and internet store to better compete in the online sphere, but it was not enough to save its flagship store.

Nearly 30 per cent of music sold in the UK was downloaded in 2012 compared with about 20% in 2010, according to figures from retail analysts Conlumino. By 2015 about 45 per cent of music is expected to be downloaded.

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