HMV opens Europe’s biggest entertainment store in Birmingham

The HMV Vault is the size of a supermarket

A new branch of HMV opens in Birmingham today (October 11), and becomes the biggest entertainment store in Europe.

HMV was (at least partially) saved last year when Sunrise Records owner Doug Putman bought the company, keeping over 100 stores open, though 27 ended up closing.

The new Birmingham store, to be known as the HMV Vault and standing on the site of an old Toys R Us, stocks 80,000 CDs and 25,000 vinyl, at a time when sales of physical media in the UK fell nearly 13% across the past year, as The Guardian report.

The store’s opening today will be crowned by a lunchtime performance from former One Direction member Liam Payne.

Putman has expressed his enthusiasm at his HMV takeover though, saying: “The market is definitely down but we are way ahead of the market. I’m really happy.

“I believe we can grow the chain. A lot of high streets are challenged and struggling. The UK has got an amazing high street and we want to support that. There is something really special about it and when it’s gone, it’s gone.”

He also referenced Amazon, praising HMV’s presence in local communities in the process. He said: “We hire people in communities and work with charities and we pay our tax. We do care. Amazon gives huge convenience but every time you get something amazing you are sacrificing something for that.

“The world’s a scary place if there is just Amazon and ultimately we are all starting to realise that.”

Putman acquired over 100 HMV stores back in February, after HMV Retail filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators for the second time in six years in the previous month.

In 2017, HMV Canada closed all 102 of its stores in the country after the retailer went into receivership.