Sales at Orange concessions in HMV stores could be boosted by the retailer’s strategy to transform 150 stores into new format technology-led stores.
HMV’s first six Fast Forward technology stores have seen like-for-like sales soar by 100%. Now the retailer plans to kit out another 144 HMV stores in the Fast Forward format by the end of October in time for the Christmas period.
HMV has beefed up its technology buying team as it prepares to drive into the technology market. The Fast Forward format will see the trading space and technology products extended to as much as 25% of store space. Products will include tablets and mobile accessories with major brands such as Acer, Apple, Asus, Samsung, Skullcandy and TDK on display.
Everything Everywhere welcomed the move this week. The operator’s original plans for up to 100 Orange concessions in HMV stores has been slower than planned as the retailer struggled with declining sales that forced it to close 29 stores this year. Both Everything Everywhere and HMV are hopeful the new format will lift sales. An Everything Everywhere spokeswoman said: ‘We’re pleased to be partnering with HMV during this exciting time and we look forward to continuing to develop our relationship with HMV in the future.’
She added: ‘Our concessions in HMV stores continue to be a successful part of our retail presence on the high street. We will continue to work with HMV to identify any new opportunities to build on our existing relationship.’
An HMV spokesman said Orange concessions in the Fast Forward stores would benefit from the synergies created. ‘There is obviously a crossover with the Fast Forward format carrying products such as iPods, tablets, headsets and mobile accessories,’ he added.
However, retail analysts remain cautious about HMV’s prospects. Ben Hunt at Oriel Securities said: ‘These are early days and while the initial results at the new Fast Forward stores have been good, we would hold back from getting too enthusiastic at this stage. We also remain sceptical about the long-term prospects for retailing in technology where competition is high.’
Charles Stanley analyst Sam Hart said the jury was still out, adding: ‘The results [from the first six Fast Forward stores] are encouraging, but whether that trend is maintained in the medium to long-term remains to be seen. Technology is a crowded marketplace and I’m not sure this is the silver bullet to solve HMV’s problems.’