At the height of its powers, HMV had more than 300 stores in the UK. That all came apart a couple of years back when the whole chain went bankrupt and it looked like this British institution–roots go back to the 1920s–was dead.
Well, not quite dead. Doug Putnam, the Canadian owner of Sunrise Records had other ideas.
Doug, you remember, bought the assets of HMV Canada when it went under, expanding his Sunrise Records from half a dozen stores to around 80. That worked out well enough for him to pick off 114 HMV stores when they became available.
Today Doug was on band in Birmingham for the opening of a brand new HMV superstore, a 25,000 square foot behemoth in centre of the city. Having learned about what made Sunrise successful in Canada, he’s applying that knowledge to the new outlet.
Timing is perfect. Tomorrow is National Album Day in the UK, so people are being urged to go out and shop for vinyl and CDs.
Next up? Putnam wants to get back into the London market in a big way. And HMV UK’s online store will be relaunched November 1.