HMV is making progress with its plans to strike deals with landlords and bring back shuttered stores.
Since the acquisition by Sunrise Records, HMV has now re-opened a third of those stores that had been closed down after the deal with KPMG. Twenty-seven of the 127 HMV and Fopp branches were closed down earlier this month as they were not considered viable.
Following the takeover, new owner Doug Putman told Music Week he hoped that terms could be agreed with landlords to secure the immediate future of some stores.
Music Week first revealed details of four stores that re-opened 10 days ago. Now a further five have been revived, with music consumers greeted by the return of the music chain in Merry Hill, Tunbridge Wells and Plymouth over the weekend. HMV Reading and HMV Meadowhall also re-opened last week. Updated (March 14): HMV has now re-opened Ayr Central, Exeter, Uxbridge and Thurrock, making it 13 stores in total that have returned.
Although it was not one of the 27, HMV Basildon was closed - but it has since re-opened. However, HMV has shuttered the Kingston and Crawley stores.
The full list of stores to re-open is:
Fopp Byres Road
Commenting on the re-opening in Plymouth, Neil Taylor, HMV MD, said: “I am extremely proud of our staff who are the most knowledgeable and committed people you will meet, and so it is extremely gratifying to see this store open again.
“I greatly appreciated the support of all our customers and the landlord which made re-opening this store possible.”
However, the flagship Oxford Street branch remains closed as a result of onerous rental costs at the location.
Putman has told Music Week he is looking at opening a new London store this year.