Business News HMV Timeline Retail

HMV launches stand alone gadget shop for Christmas

By | Published on Tuesday 15 November 2011


HMV is planning a number of pop-up shops in the run up to Christmas again this year, in places where there is no entertainment retailer on the high street. The most interesting of these temporary stores is in the City of London, because it will sell primarily gadgets, operating under the name HMV Techshop.

As much previously reported, more floor space is being given to entertainment-based tech toys – so iPods, tablet computers, gaming consoles, speakers, headphones – at HMV stores across the UK as the struggling retailer tries to reposition itself within the flagging entertainment retail market. But this will be the first HMV store almost exclusively dedicated to tech items, with only a small number of CDs, DVDs and video games available.

Although a temporary shop for Christmas, it’s thought that if the pilot Techshop, near St Pauls in London, is a success, the brand and format may be rolled out elsewhere on a more permanent basis.

The location of the try-out new look HMV shop is possibly significant – partly because City types have more cash to waste on techie nonsense, but possibly also because HMV is trying hard to convince the investment community it is moving beyond being a simple CD/DVD retail firm, but the money men are finding it hard to imagine HMV as anything more than a disk seller. Having an HMV Techshop right under their noses may help.

Though, of course, some cynics might ask, if US electronics giant Best Buy has had to leave the UK market, and a long-standing consumer electronics chain like Comet is being sold for £2, what makes HMV think it can turn round its fortunes by selling tech goods? Though HMV management insist their expanded gadget departments are delivering across the retail chain.