Today HMV opened its first dedicated technology store – HMV Techshop – in the City of London.
The store is in London’s One New Change shopping centre, trading in a 1,200 sq ft space that used to be occupied by Foyles bookstore.
It stocks a wide range of technology brands and products, including Apple iPads and iPods, tablets, netbooks, MP3 devices (such as from Acer and Samsung), alongside a variety of headphones including models by Bose, Marley, Sehnnheirser and Skullcandy, which will be shown off on bespoke headphones tables that have been designed to make it easier for consumers to try them on.
The store will also stock a small selection of chart CDs, DVD/Blu-ray and games titles for Christmas shoppers, but the focus will be firmly on the technology.
HMV currently has the retail unit on a short-term let that runs into 2012, and has an option to extend. If the standalone technology store is successful, it’s possible that HMV may roll out the concept to more locations.
Ewan Pinder, HMV head of technology, said: "HMV’s remit has always been to give its customers the widest-possible access to music, film and games, however they want to discover and enjoy them. So our move into personal technology products, including through this new-style store, is actually a very natural next step for us that supports our continuing transformation into a broad-based entertainment brand. Headphones, in particular, are really taking off in a big way, and are set to be among the ‘must-have’ gift items this Christmas."
It’s an interesting indication of what retailers who focus on physical media products may have to do to encourage sales as products such as music, books and games increasingly move online.