Thursday 17 October 2019

HMV boss predicts bright future as Liam Payne stars at new Birmingham store

New HMV Vault boasts 25,000 sq ft of retail space dedicated to music, film and television

Fans watch former One Direction star Liam Payne performing at the opening of the HMV Vault store in Dale End, Birmingham (Matthew Cooper/PA)
Fans watch former One Direction star Liam Payne performing at the opening of the HMV Vault store in Dale End, Birmingham (Matthew Cooper/PA)

By Matthew Cooper, PA

An HMV store offering more than 100,000 LPs and CDs has opened its doors in Birmingham – with a live performance by former One Direction singer Liam Payne.

Hundreds of fans watched a short set by the star at the new HMV Vault, which is billed as the largest entertainment store in Europe and has a permanent stage to host and promote particularly local acts.

HMV owner Doug Putman, who purchased the retail chain in February, has pinpointed more live music as a core part of a strategy to pull more people into HMV’s high street outlets.

Speaking at the new store at a former Ikea site in Dale End, Birmingham, Mr Putman said: “Obviously getting this store open is absolutely fantastic – I think it just shows that there is popularity still in physical formats.

“When we start talking to customers that are in the store, what they are saying is ‘yes I stream, yes I download but I also like to consume physical content – I like to buy it and own it’.”

Mr Putman said of the new store: “What we are starting to realise is that people consume (music and films in) multiple ways.

“I think there is a different feel to it – having a stage, a screening room, it just adds to the overall experience you are getting.

“I would love this store to be successful, have a great trading Christmas and then open more stores in 2020 – that’s our ultimate goal.”

The new store is around 250 metres away from the world’s biggest Primark, which opened in nearby High Street in April, offering shoppers a beauty studio and a barber’s salon.

Speaking on Thursday, Mr Putman told the PA news agency that the retailer is “under-indexed in London”, saying there is room for expansion in the capital as the company eyes new locations for its growth strategy.

HMV was purchased in a rescue deal by the music mogul in February after it crashed into administration for the second time in five years in December 2018.

PA Media

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