Derry’s latest music and video store, HVM, has promised to be as much a hub for local talent as a retail outlet for Derry’s music lovers.
Born from the ashes of redundancy and downsizing, HVM on Carlisle Road, is a gesture of defiance to those who made the decision to close HMV.
Former HMV assistant manager Tony Cregan, who is spearheading sales at the new store, said: “The Richmond Centre store should never have closed. It was profitable but the administrators for HMV believed the rent and rates were too high. Rates in Northern Ireland are the highest in the UK. That is why those jobs were lost but that is a matter for council.”
There is a certain determination to make the shop work. “The Derry public showed us a lot of support when we were being closed, 18, 000 people supported a Facebook campaign, yet they still closed us, so that is where the name comes from. They don’t own the alphabet.”
The new store will, said Tony, who worked for the multi-national chain for ten years, help rejuvenate the city centre high street. “There is already a buzz about this shop and we’ve only been opened a few days. The town centre can’t just be full of hairdressers, charity shops and pound stores. A lot of people don’t buy online, they can’t, but we can order those products for customers direct from the stockists.”
HVM proprietor Marty Doherty, said: “Tony’s expertise will give us the upper hand in terms of what sold in HVM but we are determined the shop should become a creative hub for Derry. That is why we are inviting anyone who has recorded an album to sell it instore, come play a show here. We want to energise the local economy and we know that starts with buying local. If we can source stock locally then we will do just that.”
The store will, of cours,e also sell the latest international releases and promises to become the biggest poster stockist in Ireland.
Most interestingly it has promised to stock local wares and crafts, from albums to art works, on a free of charge basis. Tony said: “People are already coming out of the wood work with albums and art for us to stock. We’re more than happy to do that. We are not driven solely by profit. Anyone with crafts to sell should come and see us.”
Chris McFeely who mans the graphic novel department added: “We will be bringing both the latest works from major publishing houses like DC and Marvel but also new titles from new publishers. It will all be available here.”