HMV's Flagship Toronto Store Opens Underground Performance Space

HMV's Flagship Toronto Store Opens Underground Performance Space
HMV has famously struggled in recent years, but the downtown Toronto branch of the music retail giant has a new promotional strategy we can get behind: they've renovated the basement and turned it into a performance space.

Dubbed HMV Underground, this space formerly held stock, but it's been treated to a major renovation. It now has a stage, lighting system and soundboard, and can fit about 140 people.

The store at Yonge and Dundas will host around one performance a week, with the first being classical guitarist Michael Kolk on May 3. Brody Dalle will appear on May 7, Manchester Orchestra play on May 19, and there will be Jazz Festival shows in June.

"This isn't exclusive just to those hardcore consumers, it's for everybody. If we can bring new people in the store that's all the better," HMV boss Nick Williams told the Toronto Star. "We're selling the product that is there, but it's about the artist. It's a genuine brand extension, really."

On the other hand, local indie shop Soundscapes told the Star that it's going the opposite route by cutting back in-store performances because they don't boost sales like they used to.