If you’ve been to HMV recently then you are among the few remaining souls that still visit the chain. I, myself, have only been there a handful of times this year to peruse the comics and graphic novel section and I live a block away. Ultimately, it looks as though HMV’s time has come to an end, well at least for the downtown Vancouver location on Robson and Burrard. Although no date has been set yet, staff have said they have already started packing and preparing for a massive sell-off. The end of HMV should not come as a shock to anyone.
The main culprit is the rent. On 40,000 square feet on Robson and Burrard, the rent is beyond ridiculous. The space is just too large for a store that primarily focuses on movies and music, both of which are readily available and consumed online.
So what will go in that space? The natural candidate is an Apple Flagship Store, however, 40,000 square feet may be too much, even for them. They are, however, looking for a flagship location in Vancouver and as we reported earlier this year a rumoured flagship store on Robson & Granville is being touted. However, the soon to be old HMV may be a better location for Apple. Perhaps this space is best suited for multiple tenants to take over the 3 floors currently occupied by HMV?
To further spread the rumour mill, rumours are circulating that Simons, the Quebec retailer of men’s and women’s fashion may take the space. Moreover, Nordstrom has been looking for space in Vancouver as well, but the HMV space is more suitable for a Nordstrom Rack, it’s simply too small for Nordstrom.
Only time will tell, I still remember when that used to be a Virgin Records.