HMV strikes right note
Greig and Stephenson's new HMV record store opposite Bond Street Underground Station occupies one of the most sought after and expensive sites on Europe's busiest shopping street. It is estimated that 80 per cent of tourists coming to London will visit Oxford Street during their stay, many of whom will arrive at their goal via Bond Street Underground Station and emerge opposite the new store.
Greig and Stephenson has been responsible for 20 HMV stores throughout the country, but Oxford Street has to be the most interesting historically. It occupies a listed building at 360 Oxford Street, replacing HMV's long serving original flagship across the road at number 363.
The original store was opened in 1921 by Sir Edward Elgar - the first ever celebrity opening. It was then the world's largest record store, but after 79 years it was no longer large enough. The larger premises offer double the old floorspace.
The new store occupies 10,000m2 over three floors. The vast entrance is open to the street throughout the day and closed at night by a sliding 8m x 4m steel framed glazed door.
Shoppers flow into the centre of the store, up the central escalator into the first floor, home to the specialist jazz and classical sections, or down to the basement, to videos and DVDs. The basement floor area spreads into space beneath the adjacent Disney Store.
Although inevitably a large chunk of HMV's history was left behind in the move, references to the company's rich history are much in evidence around the store. A 12m 'heritage wall' featuring memorabilia and photographs from the company's archives runs along one wall on the ground floor, and the HMV icon of the dog and trumpet sits on the rear staircase.
The store is the first to introduce a revolutionary downloading system allowing customers to create their own CDs by 'picking and mixing' tracks. Nine catalogue information points give customers selfservice access to the HMV stock database of around 200,000 titles: a world away from the days when the store was the world's largest record store with just 200 discs.
ARCHITECT AND DESIGNER Greig + Stephenson
PROJECT MANAGER GDG QUANTITY SURVEYOR Abacus
STRUCTURAL ENGINEER Robert Benaim & Associates M&E RYBKA Battle
BUILDING SURVEYOR Daniel Connal Partnership
SUBCONTRACTORS AND SUPPLIERS shopfitter RDB; M&E Mitie; metalwork Satin Stainless; door manufacturer Stokvis