HMV makes return to flagship Oxford Street location

Four years after shuttering its doors, HMV has reopened its flagship location on London’s Oxford Street.

The shop reopened as an HMV on 24 October after a four year absence, with the multi-floor store reimagined as both a retail location for physical media and merchandise, and as a performance space with a purpose-built floor for concerts and other in-person events like artist signings.

A number of bands are set to perform throughout the opening day to celebrate the relaunch.

HMV has promised that the Oxford Street outlet will become the HMV the largest entertainment store in London.

The store on 363 Oxford Street became the first ever HMV when it was opened by composer Edward Elgar in 1921.

HMV operated its flagship store out of the shop for almost a century until 2019 when the company was on the verge of collapse and the company’s new owner, turnaround specialist Doug Putnam, saved 100 locations but closed 27 including Oxford Street.

Like much of the formerly glamorous shopping street, the former HMV subsequently became an American candy store – one of the kinds of stores being investigated by Westminster City Council over sale of illegal goods and money laundering.

Putnam, who told PA Media that today’s relaunch was a “great moment”, confirmed that HMV would return to Oxford Street in April when the company struck a deal with the site’s landlords.

He said that more favourable rent rates made the return a possibility, stating: “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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