HMV to launch Europe’s biggest entertainment store

HMV has announced that it is to open Europe’s biggest entertainment store at Birmingham’s Bullring. Called HMV Vault, it will stock 80,000 CDs and 25,000 records and host bands, DJs and screenings in a basement function room. HMV was saved from administration by Canadian businessman Doug Putman in February. Under his ownership, HMV has since reopened 14 of the 28 stores that closed and Putman has pledged to invest at least £10m into reviving the chain, saying he wants to make his shops part of local communities, work with charities and, pointedly, “pay our tax”. The downsizing of HMV’s business has appeared to be Amazon’s direct gain, with its market share climbing proportionately so that it now accounts for £1 in every £4 spent on physical entertainment products. Overall UK sales of physical media shrank by nearly 13% in the year to 25 August, according to Kantar.

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