Retailers launch rival initiatives.

U.K. retail rivals HMV and Virgin will go head to head this coming week with respective initiatives in Manchester, England's northern music center.

HMV will on Monday (Nov. 20) kick-starts a two-week HMV campaign, called "His Manchester's Voice," which is intended to fete the city's musical heritage and the retailer's 25-year contribution to it.

Joy Division, New Order, the Smiths, the Stone Roses, the Charlatans, the Happy Mondays and Oasis are among the international success stories who rose from the Manchester area. Over the course of the campaign, HMV will offer selected "classic" Manchester albums for ?5 ($9.6) at both its local outlets.

The launch coincides with the release of homegrown rock band Oasis' hits package "Stop the Clocks." To support the record, HMV's 90 Market Street store will be draped in a 30ft X 20ft image featuring the band's frontman Noel Gallagher.

The following day, Richard Branson and New Order will officially open the new Virgin Megastores Manchester. The outlet, at the Arndale Centre, will house a 250-capacity live music venue which will regularly host local bands, according to Virgin in a statement.