The move is in line with the chain’s ambitions to restore its specialist credentials and create a music retail community hub, similar to Putman’s Sunrise Records in Canada.
While in the past, in-store performances have typically been reserved for bigger name acts, HMV head of music, John Hirst, recently told Music Week that the company is moving beyond this tired tradition and inviting up-and-coming artists to perform at local HMV locations and have their stock put on the shelves.
“We’re doing a lot more of that,” says HMV head of music John Hirst. “We used to be really good at that back in the day, but we had to move away from it in the wake of the previous administration. We’re really embracing that again, it’s something Sunrise in Canada do an awful lot of. So if somebody wants to come in, play a few songs and flog 20 CDs we’ve got the ability to do that for them now at the weekends.”
Weekday activity will reportedly remain reserved for more established acts and album launches, however, Hirts says HMV plans to give the program a “big push” and that while the chain did approximately 250 in-stores last year, its goal is to increase that number to a thousand throughout the year ahead.