// HMV marks next step in its revival with multi-million-pound investment on new CX-focused store
// HMV Vault, open from tomorrow in Birmingham, measures 25,000sq ft and will be the largest music retail space in Europe
// HMV’s new owner Doug Putman also plans further store openings over the next year
HMV is taking the next step in its revival with opening of a huge experiential store in Birmingham, as the retailer’s new owner hints at more store openings over the next year.
The HMV Vault, slated to open tomorrow at Dale End, measures 25,000 sq ft and will become the largest music and entertainment retail space in Europe once open.
It will stock 100,000 LPs and CDs, 20,000 Blu-ray and over 40,000 DVD titles, and offer a large performance area at its centre that will see former One Direction singer Liam Payne take to the stage during tomorrow’s launch event.
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HMW’s new owner Doug Putman said the new store was a vote of confidence in the British high street, and that HMV will play a fundamental role in ensuring shopping districts continue to thrive.
Speaking to the PA news agency, Putman said HMV will return to opening new stores over the next year just eight months after he bought it out of administration and shut down a raft ofHMV sites – including the iconic Oxford Street flagship in London.
He said his company, Canada-based Sunrise Records, will pump cash into new HMV sites and refurbishments.
He added that HMV was “under-indexed in London”, and hinted there was room for expansion in the capital as the company eyes new locations for its growth strategy.
Meanwhile, HMV is currently running a limited service online but will launch all of its stock on its site by November 1.
Putman told PA that introducing more live music and “local bands particularly” to stores in order to drive footfall and sales was a core part of HMV’s growth and customer experience strategy.
He also said his new strategy for the company will see the “first 20ft of stores transformed” to feel less corporate, more focused and cleaner than before.
HMV was rescued by Putman in February after it crashed into administration for the second time in five years in December 2018, when previous owner Hilco failed to make the business profitable.
Putman said he faced a “long list of issues” ranging from trying to secure new leases with landlords and improving the relationship with suppliers after he took control.
He added that “unsustainable” business rates were a particular burden on the business and called for a reduction to help retailers.
“You have to hope someone wakes up sooner rather than later over rates. We want to open more stores, but we need help when it comes to rates to make that possible,” Putman told PA.
“It would be a scary thing if the high street wasn’t here. As someone from Canada I’d stress how much it should be treasured.”
The Vault was originally a download and streaming music service launched by HMV Canada in 2012, a year before HMV Group first went into administration with £176 million in debt.