HTC is doubling the number of its field sales representatives and could open own-brand stores, as it pushes for a bigger retail presence in a bid to raise its market share to 10% in the UK.
The developments come as it denies reports that the flagship HTC One (M8) is failing to deliver expected sales.
Recent statistics show unit sales fell from around 12,000 around its launch in April, to 9,000 in May and 6,000 in June.
But Peter Frølund (pictured), HTC UK and Nordic VP, denied there were problems and told Mobile the HTC One (M8) was outstripping its predecessor, the HTC One.
‘Any product launch goes through a life cycle and you will see sales numbers spike after a launch and then there are a lot of tactical opportunities to drive that back up,’ he said.
‘The HTC One was very well received so our ambition for the M8 was to be better and we have seen a year-on-year growth in those numbers,’ said Frølund, attributing the growth to ‘even stronger support’ from its retail, network and distribution partners and a more focused marketing campaign which, he said, had resulted in a 275% rise in media coverage, compared to the HTC One.
He said there would be opportunities to build on the M8’s initial success, including HTC’s push for higher visibility in retail.
Asked if this strategy included HTC branded stores, similar to its concept store in Selfridges in London and its own HTC store in the centre of Copenhagen (pictured), Frølund said: ‘Visibility is important to us and there are a number of different ways to achieve that. We do have a concept store in Copenhagen - I spend a lot of time there talking to customers and getting a lot of feedback to drive the business further. So I can’t rule it out but I also can’t promise that. We are learning in Copenhagen and once we have learnt what we need, we will make a decision on whether to do more elsewhere.’
Frølund said the HTC field marketing team has been boosted by 40% as part of its recently forged partnership with training company Ignite, and new working patterns had been introduced focusing on supporting retail staff at the weekends as well as in the week.
‘We have recruited a significant number of trainers to the team and introduced a more focused plan – it sounds very simple but we want to be more present at the weekend, when staff need even more support. This is when customers have more time to spend making sure they make the right purchase. So we need to ramp up and make sure we have that conversation with them. This is not a Monday to Friday job.’