HMV to reopen flagship store on Oxford Street after four years away, replacing US sweet shop in 'pleasing' shift

28 April 2023, 07:31 | Updated: 28 April 2023, 07:40

HMV is replacing a US sweet shop on Oxford Street
HMV is replacing a US sweet shop on Oxford Street. Picture: Getty

By Kit Heren

HMV is to reopen its flagship store on Oxford Street in London after a four-year absence.

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The music retailer fell into administration in 2019, before being rescued by Canadian company Sunrise Records.

HMV had been at the Oxford Street site for nearly 100 years at that point, opening the store in 1921.

The store has since been operating as an American sweet shop, to the chagrin of Westminster Council's Labour chiefs, which has targeted similar stores for selling illegal and counterfeit goods.

Read more: £107k of 'illegal' goods seized from US candy store raid on Oxford Street as council vows 'no Happy New Year' for traders

Read more: Tom Swarbrick gives take after raid on US-style candy and souvenir shops on Oxford Street

HMV has signed a deal to replace the current occupants of 363 Oxford Street, whose lease runs out in six months.

The music retailer said the return was the sign of a "dramatic turnaround" in its fortunes, with the company posting a profit last year.

HMV being replaced by a US sweet shop
HMV being replaced by a US sweet shop. Picture: Getty

Part of the bounce-back has been a shift towards pop culture merchandise, vinyl, music technology, such as headphones, and live music and signings in stores, amid waning demand for DVDs and CDs.

HMV’s Doug Putman 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.

"We are also opening stores in Europe this year, so while it is the culmination of one phase of work, more excitingly we see it as the launchpad for an exciting new era for HMV."

HMV sign being covered up after the chain went into administration
HMV sign being covered up after the chain went into administration. Picture: Getty

Cllr Geoff Barraclough, from Westminster city council, which oversees London’s leading high street, said: “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 return of this famous name is proof that there is 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."