This one’s a blog about the accessibility of HMV Oxford Street on well, Oxford Street. Again, this doesn’t sound blog worthy, but I know it’s the flagship HMV store so figured a lot of people would be interested in going there (particularly since it’s tourist shopping heaven on Oxford Street) so I thought an accessibility review would be useful. I’ll be splitting it into the journey to/from the store and general experience at the store. I’ll probably end up adding my thoughts on the ticket buying process and seating for in store signings etc. if I ever actually make it to an in-store signing.
(Disclaimer: I’m aware “accessibility” means different things to different people, as I said before, these are MY views on my experience of accessibility at this venue as an electric wheelchair user, I obviously can’t speak for others experiences but feel free to add your experiences in the comments!)
Getting there was not the most complex trip, but it definitely wasn’t the easiest. For me, it involves a bus to Uxbridge station then the Metropolitan line to Wembley Park and the Jubilee line to Bond Street. This was complete with the usual issue of staff at Wembley Park not believing there are lifts at Bond Street, despite those lifts having been in for 2 months now (for more on my issues with the Tube network check here: invinciblewomanonwheels.wordpress.com/2018/02/07/top-5-issues-with-the-tube-as-a-wheelchair-user/)
In terms of general experience, it was again, somewhere between great and terrible. The aisles seemed really rather narrow, something which was made worse by a signing on that day which meant the queue for the signing sometimes spilled out into the shop and made the aisles even narrower (it was possibly our own fault for going on a day there was a signing on, but to be fair we didn’t know it was happening until we were half way there). There was also a tiny, TINY, hidden lift to get to the second floor, maybe the lift’s like that because it’s an older building? Not that being an old building is an excuse for poor accessibility, but it’s the only reasoning I could see for such a tiny lift where my chair could only just fit. Then we finally get to paying and there was no lowered till or wireless card machine/ card machine on an extended cable which made paying super difficult
I hope this post helps some people to understand the accessibility of this flagship store and encourages HMV to make their stores more accessible.