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HMV to reopen historic Oxford Street store

HMV is to reopen its historic Oxford Street store later this year after a four-year absence.

The music retailer shut the flagship store in 2019 after tumbling into administration before a rescue takeover by Canadian Doug Putman’s Sunrise Records.

The site, where HMV opened its first shop in 1921, has been operating as an American sweet shop since the closure.

hmv Vault launch
HMV owner Doug Putman said the reopening of the flagship store represented ‘the culmination of a good few years of hard work’ (Fabio De Paola/PA)

It is understood that HMV has signed a deal to replace the current occupant, whose lease is set to expire in around six months.

HMV said the return to 363 Oxford Street was the “latest sign of a dramatic turnaround” after collapsing four years ago, with the firm bouncing back to profit last year.

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The store will feature the company’s new logo and new store layout, which it has been rolling out since 2021.

The retailer has shifted further towards pop culture merchandise, vinyl, music technology, such as headphones, and live music and signings in stores amid waning demand for DVDs and CDs.

HMV said it will have brought the concept, which it dubs HMV Shop, to 24 new sites and 14 existing stores by the end of the year.

Mr Putman said: “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.

“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: “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.

American Sweet Shops investigated
An American sweet shop on Oxford Street (James Manning/PA)

“It’s also particularly pleasing it is replacing one of the many US candy stores which sprang up during the pandemic.”

It comes days after the boss of Marks & Spencer described the landmark shopping street as a “national embarrassment”.

Stuart Machin, chief executive of M&S, said in a letter to the Evening Standard: “The high street which is meant to be the jewel in London’s crown today is a national embarrassment, with a proliferation of tacky candy stores, antisocial behaviour and footfall remaining in the doldrums, 11% down on pre-pandemic levels.”