• Mon. May 27th, 2024

Happy music memories a year on from HMV reopening in Oxford

Byoxfordnewspaper

Sep 27, 2022

Here we feature some happy musical memories from the Oxford Mail archive to mark HMV’s return to Cornmarket just over a year ago.

Since then, the music store has been busy with customers buying vinyl, CDs, record players, T-shirts, books and other items.

HMV closed its Cornmarket branch in 2014 and made a comback last September.

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Former Boyzone star Ronan Keating was one of the first stars to visit and meet his fans.

Today's pop music fans probably haven't heard of Brother Beyond.

Oxford Mail: Photo: Oxford Mail Photo: Oxford Mail

But the boy band had a strong following in the late 1980s and a number two hit with The Harder I Try.

It was groups like these who would cause a stir when they turned up for in store signings in record stores like HMV in Cornmarket Street in Oxford.

Jennifer Lafton, 18, was a big fan and she waited four hours to meet lead singer Nathan Moore back in 1986.

There were lots of in store performances for fans over the years and local bands like Foals and Young Knives took the opportunity to turn up and play their latest singles.

Read more: Music giant HMV to open new store in Cornmarket

Sadly the fun didn't last forever and after the chain went into administration in 2013 it closed its doors in the city centre the following year.

In June 2014 music fans queued up to buy the last discounted CDs, DVDs and video games.

HMV survived in a different guise following a buyout and a number of stores remain up and down the country.

In September 2021, the chain made a spectacular comeback in Cornmarket in the former Gap clothing store.

It now sells, records, CDs, DVDs, games, record players and other accessories over two floors.

Oxford Mail: Photo: Oxford Mail Photo: Oxford Mail

Store manager Paul Williams said shortly after the 2021 reopening: "We are thrilled with the performance of HMV Oxford so far.

"Our opening weekend was phenomenal, and the people of Oxford came out in force to support us which was amazing.

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“We’ve been delighted to hear feedback from our customers, who in particular have been praising the staff for being very friendly and super helpful in finding exactly what they’re looking for.

“What we’ve noticed is that people don’t just pop in and out, they stay here for a long time, exploring everything we’ve got to offer.

“Vinyl sales have proved really strong, as have sales of pop culture products from franchises such as Pokemon and The Mandalorian, while shoppers in the city have also been snapping up Hatsune Miku and Zombie Makeout Club merchandise.

Oxford Mail: Photo: Oxford Mail Photo: Oxford Mail

“Of course, our incredible range of music, film and TV have been performing well, but our retro arcade machines, sneakers and skateboards have proved popular too.”

Read more from this author

This story was written by Andy Ffrench, he joined the team more than 20 years ago and now covers community news across Oxfordshire.

Get in touch with him by emailing: Andy.ffrench@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter @OxMailAndyF