After seven years since its last remaining stores shuttered, HMV is set to make a comeback in the Irish market this July. The company has announced the opening of a new flagship store, which will be the first outside of the United Kingdom in four years. Located on 18 Henry Street, Dublin, the 6,000 sq ft retail space will be let from Irish Life and will have three floors for merchandise. The store will also offer performance spaces, creating the city’s latest live music venue. HMV is planning on hosting shows and signings from some of the country’s and world’s biggest stars.
HMV’s last stores in Ireland closed their doors in 2016. The company’s return to the Irish market is being made possible by Sunrise Records, which acquired HMV in 2019. Sunrise Records is owned by Canadian billionaire Doug Putman, and there are already 120 stores across the UK. Mr. Putman said that HMV’s return to Ireland “marks the culmination” of the team’s hard work in establishing a “new HMV shopping experience across the UK”.
“We are now in a position to expand that concept into Europe,” Mr. Putman said. He also expressed his hopes that the location at Henry Street will become a “home for a new community of fans” in Ireland. “We hope that once we’ve got our feet back under the table in Ireland, further HMV shop openings will follow,” he added.
Before its exit from the Irish market, HMV had been struggling for many years as it tried to compete with digital music sales. In 2013, the company closed 16 locations in Ireland, making 300 people redundant after a receiver was appointed. However, eight months after that, the company’s new owners Hilco re-opened stores in Dublin’s Henry Street, Liffey Valley shopping centre, and Dundrum town centre, as well as Limerick’s Crescent shopping centre. Unfortunately, even these stores didn’t last much longer and were closed in September 2016.
In 2018, Hilco was forced to call in the administrators for the company, and in 2019, it was sold to Mr. Putman. The opening of HMV’s new store in Dublin is a sign of the company’s renewed commitment to the Irish market, and it remains to be seen whether it will be successful this time around.
The return of HMV to the Irish market is good news for music lovers and fans of physical media. Despite the rise of digital music sales, there is still a significant market for physical media, including vinyl records, CDs, and DVDs. HMV has always been a popular destination for music and film fans, and its return to Ireland is likely to be welcomed by many.
The new store on Henry Street is expected to be a major draw for music fans, with its performance spaces and merchandise offerings. It remains to be seen whether HMV will be able to compete with the likes of Amazon and other online retailers, but the company’s focus on creating a unique in-store experience could be its key to success.
Overall, the return of HMV to the Irish market is a positive development for the music and film industries, and it will be interesting to see how the company fares in the coming years. With its renewed commitment to physical media and a unique in-store experience, HMV could once again become a popular destination for music and film fans in Ireland and beyond.