HMV opens its biggest store eight months after rescue deal

Firm describes new store in Birmingham as ‘largest music and entertainment retail space in Europe’

Olesya Dmitracova
Economics and Business Editor
Friday 11 October 2019 14:19
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“I am a firm believer in the potential for British high street retail,” says Doug Putman, owner of HMV
“I am a firm believer in the potential for British high street retail,” says Doug Putman, owner of HMV

HMV has opened a new megastore, described as the largest music and entertainment retail space in Europe, making a multimillion-pound investment eight months after the firm was bought out of administration.

The HMV Vault, which measures 25,000sq ft, opened on Friday in Birmingham. The store stocks more than 100,000 LPs and CDs, and it is the first retailer to offer every film available in 4K UHD, which amounts to 20,000 Blu-ray and more than 40,000 DVD titles.

The Vault, located close to the city centre, also features a performance space designed for concerts by international and local musicians. Liam Payne will perform at the store’s launch on Friday, followed by James Arthur on Saturday. The Murder Capital and local bands will play over the opening weekend.

“I am a firm believer in the potential for British high street retail,” said Doug Putman, owner of HMV.

“Retail offers two things a purely digital experience of music simply can’t – the opportunity to experience the biggest acts live in our stores and our ability to offer a platform to new artists in the communities where we operate, as well as opportunities for fans to come together and share their passion for music and film with our dedicated staff.”

The staff will also be able to advise customers on music technology, ranging from turntables to headphones, sold in store, HMV said. Another offering is a range of 7,000 music-related books and music-inspired fashion and merchandise.

In its announcement, HMV cited research showing that every age group in the UK buys more CDs and LPs than the global average.

The firm was bought by Mr Putman, owner of Canadian chain Sunrise Records, in February after it collapsed for the second time in December. At the time, it blamed a continued decline in the CD and DVD market, as well as “extremely weak Christmas footfall”. The deal saved almost 1,500 out of 2,200 jobs.

The one-time high street stalwart originally went into administration in 2013 amid rising competition from music streaming services. It was then bought by Hilco, a firm specialising in restructuring.

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