British pop culture chain HMV has opened its first store on the European continent this morning, one day before reopening its flagship store on London’s Oxford Street. In April, the chain will open its second Belgian store in shopping centre City2 in Brussels.
K-Pop and vinyl
The Antwerp region welcomed the first HMV store on the European continent this morning, with the much-anticipated opening at the Wijnegem Shop Eat Enjoy shopping centre. The store offers up to 10,000 items, half of which is pop culture: dolls, mugs, lamps and other gadgets from Marvel, Funko and Kenjiland to K-Pop. And there really is a lot of K-Pop: “We have the biggest selection in the country”, retail manager Marc Renier boasts.
Rock band T-shirts are also in abundance, but judging by the interest shown by the first visitors, the chain mainly scores with its extensive range of vinyl records – even though novelties such as Hackney Diamonds by The Rolling Stones or the reissue of The Beatles’ famous red and blue compilation albums do come at considerable prices.
Brussels to follow
Today’s opening marks the start of a European expansion: if all goes well, HMV’s second Belgian store will open in April next year, in shopping centre City2 in Brussels. That store will be twice the size of the Wijnegem branch.
On Friday, the chain will also reopen its famous London flagship on Oxford Street, after a four-year absence. In that 1,000 sqm store spanning three floors, customers will find more than 20,000 vinyl albums, some 4,000 pop culture items, as well as a wide range of CDs, DVDs and music electronics. The retailer also organises concerts there.