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Entertainment

HMV relaunch of Oxford Street branch a ‘great moment’ in chain’s recovery | UK News

today24/11/2023

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HMV has reopened the doors to its flagship Oxford Street store after it was closed down for four years.

The entertainment chain first opened the central London store 102 years ago, but was forced to shut it when it fell into administration.

Now, in what owner Doug Putman called a “great moment” in the chain’s recovery since he acquired the brand in 2019, HMV has welcomed back customers to the shop and will host live music on Friday.

Mr Putman said he hopes the London shop will see “crowds which will shut down the street”, and explained HMV returned to 363 Oxford Street after negotiating a new rental deal with the property’s landlord.

“It is a pretty great moment for us, coming back here after four years away,” he said.

“When we bought the business, we couldn’t keep the site because the rates bill and rent just didn’t make any financial sense.

“Getting another location in London was an immediate priority and as it became more obvious that the rent and rate situation here had improved and the landlord was open to discussions, we just felt it would be the right move to come back to somewhere with such history to us.”

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HMV boss ‘very excited’ by Oxford Street return

Owner of HMV, Doug Putman, with the dog Holly outside the new HMV store
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Doug Putman said ‘it is a pretty great moment for us, coming back here after four years away’

The chain announced they had struck a new deal for Oxford Street in April. In the four years since HMV had the property rights, an American candy store had occupied the location.

Mr Putman, who owns Canadian music chain Sunrise Records, also said: “We think our return shows the positive direction things are going in here.

“It is all about balance. There is no problem having the odd candy store here but people don’t need tens of them, but also want to see an HMV or a Waterstones.”

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An American candy store on 363 Oxford Street, London, where HMV had a store until 2019.
Image:
An American candy store occupied HMV’s old spot on 363 Oxford Street after it shut down

The 363 Oxford Street address hosted the very first HMV store in 1921 and was opened by composer Edward Elgar.

HMV has plans for the shop to become the largest entertainment store in London and is expected to draw appearances and signings by renowned musicians to its “purpose-built performance floor”.

Mr Putnam drew headlines earlier this year when he attempted to buy Wilko.



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Written by: lwrradio

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