Dec 8, 2019

HMV faces the music in Christmas crunch test

HMV Since Doug Putman rescued UK music retailer HMV in February, he has thrown himself wholeheartedly into running a transatlantic retail empire. Under Mr Putman's ownership, stores have given more space to vinyl albums and displayed them prominently, although he admits that CDs are still bigger than vinyl for HMV. In a music industry that is increasingly dominated by streaming, record shops have to be attuned to changing trends in physical formats. Looking ahead, Mr Putman wants to establish HMV as the trusted gatekeeper in a crowded cultural environment. HMV now has 113 shops, but is suffering from the lack of a big central London outlet since the closure of the heavily loss-making flagship store in Oxford Street in the wake of Mr Putman's takeover. New shops are already coming to other cities, with a 25,000 sq-ft store known as the HMV Vault now open in Birmingham.

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