Pop into town tomorrow, and you’ll be able to shop inside HMV’s legendary Oxford Street flagship, 92 years after it first opened at 363 Oxford Street.
The first HMV was opened in 1921 by Sir Edward Elgar. It’s famous for being the location where The Beatles’ signed their recording contract and for hosting performances from the likes of Run DMC. It moved premises back in 2000, but is returning to its original spot tomorrow.
HMV went into administration in January, suffering from the declining CD, DVD and video game markets as well as competition from supermarkets and online retailers. But the brand was bought out in April in a deal that preserved 1,500 jobs and 23 stores that had previously been earmarked to close.
Inside the London flagship you’ll now find lightboxes displaying iconic images of the store in its heyday, such as the Queen’s coronation carriage passing in 1953, and TV screens showing footage from famous in-store appearances by artists including Madonna and Kate Bush.
Speaking to Retail Week, HMV chairman Paul McGowan said, “The store at number 363 was a London landmark and a British institution for nearly 80 years and earned its place in music history through its role in landing The Beatles a recording contract. It’s hugely significant that HMV’s coming home to do what it does best with renewed confidence and authority.”
McGowan plans to cement HMV’s appeal as a specialist entertainment chain and a destination for back-catalogue products. We’re also promised more in-store gigs. “It’s really important that people will recognise HMV as still current and relevent. We have good contact with the music industry and we’re going to find ways to allow our customers to interact with artists.”