No trip to central London was complete without a trip to the big HMV on Oxford Street, taking sweet advantage of the two-for-£10 deal on CDs.
Even after the boom of streaming, the HMV flagship store managed to stand strong but, alas, it closed its doors in 2019 to the dismay of many a music buff.
There are no prizes for guessing what replaced the store after it lay empty for an extended period. But now, the old American candy store is no more; and His Master’s Voice is set to stay another day and make a grand return to its Oxford Street home in time for Christmas this year.
The HMV Expansion
HMV’s flagship on Oxford Street was opened in 1921 by composer Sir Edward Elgar, and their first store was inches away from celebrating its 100th anniversary before its closure. It came as part of widespread HMV closures in 2019, which saw 27 stores shut up shop.
Now, after the chain celebrated a century of pushing physical copies of music and film, it’s back — 363 Oxford Street, welcome back your old chum and get browsing through that vinyl selection.
Westminster City Councillor Geoff Barraclough was among the first to praise the return of HMV to Oxford Street, saying: “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 Oxford Street store isn’t all HMV has planned, either. They’re launching a new format called HMV shop, which will include the aim of revamping 14 existing stores and opening 24 new sites by the end of 2023. Doug Putman, who rescued HMV from collapse in 2019 added that there were also plans to open new stores across Europe with an exciting new era planned for the music chain.
The Sunrise Records owner 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.”
Upon the flagship’s return, visitors can expect to find their usual array of CDs, vinyl, DVDs, and music technology (headphones, speakers, and the like) on top of pop-culture merchandise.
If now isn’t the time to take up that record-collecting hobby then when is? At the very least, we should all be rolling back the years to carry home Riot! by Paramore in a pink and white carrier back like it’s 2007 again. Long live His Master’s Voice.