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HMV to reopen flagship Oxford Street store after four years

The historic store is expected to reopen towards the end of this year

By Hollie Geraghty

HMV Oxford Street
HMV Oxford Street (Picture: Alex Liivet / Wikimedia Creative Commons)

HMV’s flagship store on Oxford Street is set to return after a four-year closure.

The music retailer closed down its central London site in 2019, one of 27 outlets that shut when the company fell into administration before being rescued from the brink of collapse by Canadian music entrepreneur, Doug Putman.

During its closure the site was occupied by an American sweet store, one of many to pop up in the capital during the pandemic.

Putman’s firm, Sunrise Records, said the return to the 363 Oxford Street address – the site of HMV’s first store, opened in 1921 by British composer Sir Edward Elgar – was the “latest sign of a dramatic turnaround” after profits bounced back last year (via SkyNews).

The store – which is expected to be reopened towards the end of 2023 – will feature a new logo and revamped layout, with a new focus on merchandise, vinyl, films and technology, along with live music and in-store signings.

His Master’s Voice (HMV) Oxford Street (Picture: David Hawgood/ Wikimedia Creative Commons)

The new format will be called HMV shop, and it set to be introduced to 24 new sites and 14 existing stores by the end of this year.

“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 a statement.

“We are also opening stores in Europe this year, so while it is the culmination of one phase of work, more excitingly we see it as the launchpad for an exciting new era for HMV.”

Councillor Geoff Barraclough, Westminster City Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning and Economic Development, said in a statement: “It’s fantastic to see this iconic brand back on Oxford Street, where it stood as a driver of music and pop culture in the capital for so long. It’s also particularly pleasing it is replacing one of the many US candy stores which sprang up during the pandemic.”

“The return of this famous name is proof that there’s a buzz back in the West End,” he added. “Established retailers want a presence on the UK’s premier shopping street and as a council we want to see the nation’s high street reinvigorated and home to brands like HMV.”

The historic Oxford Street site has hosted the likes of Blur, who performed a rooftop gig in 1995, and the Spice Girls, who on switched on the Christmas lights in 1996.

In September last year, HMV also launched its own record label called 1921 Records, with 22-year-old Newcastle singer-songwriter India Arkin becoming the retailer’s first signee.