Published May 29, 2008Canada's biggest music retailer HMV is officially launching its next wave of stores on June 17 in Toronto with what their marketing people are calling the "Store of the Future" (no, they won't be unveiling hoverboards or briefcase flying cars, just CDs, DVDs, videogames, etc. I know...). Looking to provide customers "with a total entertainment experience," the revamped shop located at 50 Bloor Street West is the first of 20 to launch before the end of the year.
Making it a big-to-do, the store's grand opening will commence at 8:00 a.m. with a breakfast event full of coffee and snacks for customers, as well as the expected ribbon-cutting ceremony, a "Warner Home Video Fool's Gold contest" (which we can only assume means they're giving away free fool's gold), more giveaways, a private cocktail reception for "entertainment industry tastemakers" in the evening, and perhaps the only reason we're reporting on this, an intimate acoustic performance by the inimitable Billy Bragg, who will no doubt make things at this glitzy event interesting with his anti-capitalist and working class stance.
So what's the big deal? And why is it so futuristic? Well, according to Humphrey Kadaner, President of HMV Canada, the new stores will carry a "broader range of entertainment products, including: videogames, DVD's, iPod's, books, entertainment focused mobile phones and of course music!" On top of that, the actual space's 5,900 square feet "will give consumers an opportunity to experience a variety of newly expanded features, unique to the new 'Store of the Future' design," like "an interactive 'Hub' encompassing 6 iMac computers featuring easy access to a variety of entertainment, social networking sites." (So, Facebook, MySpace, what about Adult Friend Finder or YouPorn for those in need of real entertainment?). On top of that, there's also "gaming stations, as well as the introduction of a selection of books and entertainment focused mobile phones." Because we need more cell phone retail outlets, of course.
Perhaps more relevant, however, is the present-tense relocation of Toronto's favourite indie music retailer, Rotate This, which moves from their 620 Queen Street West address down the street to some new digs at number 801. Considering the sorry state of record retail it comes as quite a surprise that such a business could afford to upgrade, but if anyone has the sass, selection and clientele to support such a thing it's the near-two-decade-old Rotate. Click here to read more about the big move.