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Customers delighted as HMV store returns
REBORN music store HMV is seeking to forge links with Swindon’s music scene to become a new and stronger presence in the town after reopening its doors yesterday.
The Regent store closed in March after being identified as one of the 36 less profitable outfits around the country, but has reopened in the same building after being given a boost by HMV’s Canadian owners.
Store managers are now calling out to bands around Swindon to form partnerships with them as they look to hold gigs above the store and play music from unsigned artists in the shop.
Store supervisor Craig Ings said: “We want to give people a platform to have their music played in the store to get a bit of local support. I am keen on getting local bands in for us to play their music in store and see what else we can do for them.
“We are looking at the possibility of holding events on our third floor, and I just want to invigorate that passion for music in Swindon. If we can do anything to help local artists this would be a good opportunity, and we are the right people to do it.
“It was a real shame for the town that it closed, and I am really excited for the store. There has been some great positive reaction we have had from Twitter, and today we have had people coming in and shaking our hands saying how great it is for us to be back. I don’t think there are a lot of stores where you would see the same kind of goodwill.
“The company is in a far more stable position now. We have been bought out by HILCO, who own the Canadian arm of HMV. They have made a great company over there and are introducing things over here which work really well.
“There is a better range of products and the introduction of new vinyl sections. Vinyl is a wink towards the heritage of HMV, from its roots in the first store to the Beatles cutting their first single in one of their stores.”
Customers crammed into the store yesterday to see how it had changed, and the consensus was encouraging for its future.
Dave Cann, 56, of Rodbourne, said: “I can’t understand why it was closed in the first place. There is always people in here. A bit of competition is always a good thing. When you have only got one place to buy things they can charge what they want. The town is becoming so run down these days that it is nice to see a shop opening up for a change.”
Brian Torfrey, 58, of Eastcott, said: “After it closed down I would go to the branches in Bristol, Bath and Oxford, so it is brilliant to have it back on my doorstep.”
Andy Rochester, 43, of Hazelridge, said: “This is great news. It is good to finally see a shop opening on the high street, and hopefully it will grow after this.
“I think things are picking up now, and there are quite a few people here so I do hope it will stay in business. I know you can get stuff from the internet these days with a click, but it is always better to have the physical object.”
Bands who want to hand in a demo can tweet @hmv_swindon or call into the store.
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