HMV closes flagship Oxford Street store

End of an era for HMV's largest music store

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HMV’s flagship store in Oxford Street has been shut down this week. Covering over 60,000 square-feet and set over three floors, the iconic HMV store at 150 Oxford Street has been at the forefront of the company’s UK presence since it was opened in 1986. The shop made it into the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s largest music store.

The huge HMV shop which flourished during the pre-digital music era, included well-stocked specialist classical and jazz departments in its basement. And many of the biggest names in the pop world appeared at the shop as it competed head-on with the nearby Virgin Megastore. 

Hit by the rise of digital download sales from iTunes and the growth of music streaming providers such as Spotify, the company collapsed in January 2013. It was taken over by restructuring specialists Hilco in April 2013 for £50m. Although almost half of its original stores have closed, there are 140 remaining open.

HMV flourished with the rise of the CD market but by 2012 the revenue from digital music sales had outstripped CD sales in the UK. Last October, HMV launched a new digital strategy including apps for Android and Apple’s iOS operating systems.

The main London HMV store will now be the smaller branch at 383 Oxford Street, the company’s first shop, which was opened in 1921 by composer Sir Edward Elgar.