Iconic British retailer hmv celebrates its 100th year on the high street

The iconic entertainment retailer hmv celebrates its 100th birthday today, revealing its plans for the year ahead and the future of its business.

The retailer opened its first store on Oxford Street in 1921, and now operates more than 100 stores across the UK, including the Europe’s largest entertainment store, The Vault, in Birmingham.

Up to ten further store openings are planned for this year, with the music and film chain actively looking for a new London flagship site. Today, a new store opens in Solihull, West Midlands.

On 25th August, Ed Sheeran will perform a special, intimate gig at the hmv Empire, Coventry that will be free to 700 fans*. The gig cements hmv’s support for the live music industry, whether at a local grassroots level or for the world’s biggest music artists, and follows hmv’s sponsorship of the Empire venue earlier this year.

With lockdown restrictions loosening, hmv’s famous programme of live in-store events and signings has returned, with chat-topping acts such as KSI, Laura Mvula and Anne-Marie among the first to make appearances at hmv stores this year.

Since shops were allowed to re-open, hmv has seen strong footfall driven by an ever-expanding audience for vinyl and pop culture product, and it’s these areas that the business is set to focus on over the coming years. On 24th July, hmv will hold its celebratory ‘Exclusives Day’, offering 40 1921 Centenary Editions vinyl both in-store and online, featuring its favourite records from the past 100 years, with LPs from Kate Bush, The Prodigy and The XX.

The retailer has also introduced thousands more pop culture lines, including franchise product from the likes of Star Wars and Marvel, as well as band merchandise from the likes of K-Pop stars BTS.

hmv owner Doug Putman said: “hmv’s 100th birthday is a huge milestone for the British high street and the music industry. Our stores continue to offer millions of customers a way of discovering new music, with an unrivalled vinyl range, as well as giving fans the chance to buy exclusive products from their favourite artists and franchises. We’re famed for our passionate and knowledgeable staff, and we’re a business that listens to what they and our customers want to see in stores.

“We have so many exciting plans for our Centenary, from a gig with Ed Sheeran to the return of our in-store signings and performances. This is a huge year for hmv, and we want to set up the business so that it’s still here in another 100 years’ time.”