HMV returns to iconic original Oxford Street site — after reclaiming it from an American candy shop

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HMV’s flagship store on Oxford Street in London before it shut (Kirsty O’Connor/PA) (PA Archive)
HMV’s flagship store on Oxford Street in London before it shut (Kirsty O’Connor/PA) (PA Archive)

Music retailer HMV will return to the location of its first ever shop on Oxford Street, reclaiming the site from an American candy store.

The company said the new opening marks “the latest sign of a dramatic turnaround” since 2019 when the shop closed.

The store - close to Bond Street station - is on the site of the first HMV shop, founded in 1921. In 1995, Blur played a rooftop gig from the top of the store, while the next year it hosted the Spice Girls’ Christmas Lights switch-on.

However it closed in February 2019, alongside 26 other shops, when Doug Putman bought the firm.

After the pandemic, the site became Candy World: a US-themed sweet shop. However, HMV’s recent financial turnaround - led by a boom in vinyl - has put it in a position to return to the Oxford Street site.

The return of the famed music shop comes as Westminster Council aims to crack down on the candy shops. A February analysis revealed  that there were 29 US-style candy and souvenir outlets on Europe’s busiest shopping street, equal to the previous peak in 2020.

“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,” CouncillorGeoff Barraclough, Westminster City Council’s cabinet member for planning and economic development, said

“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. 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.

“There’s nothing quite like browsing through CDs and vinyl in-store. As a teenager who bought his first LP in an HMV shop some decades ago, I look forward to reliving that experience.”

Estate agent Savills helped let the site. Sam Foyle, co-head of prime global retail at Savills, said: “The return of HMV is a major milestone for Oxford Street. It shows the growth in belief and confidence for the street.

“The previous vacancy and short term candy store tenant was the focus of the challenges facing Oxford Street. HMV reopening along with many other global transactions in progress, demonstrates that Oxford Street has recovered.”

The new shop will open later this year.