Retailer seeks new growth with interactive layout and Wi-Fi cafe

HMV opens multi-channel store in Cambridge

Entertainment and technology retailer HMV opened a new store in Cambridge late last month that features a Wi-Fi enabled technology department.

Sitting alongside the chain’s range of music, films, TV and games, the technology area offers an extensive selection of portable devices and gadgets.

Product on display include headphones from Beats by Dre, Marley, Sennheiser and Skullcandy; Apple iPads, Google Nexus 7 and other tablets from Archos to Arnova; speakerdocks, MP3 players and other ‘tech essentials’. Furthermore, the department is an interactive space, staffed by tech experts.

HMV’s most recent financial results showed that like-for-like sales were down, yet the chain reported a strong increase in technology sales. Naturally, HMV is keen to build on its successes in this sector.

The firm said in a statement: “Entertainment devices will grow to become the most significant part of our business. Our offer will be differentiated through the quality of our in-store experience and the digital content that will be bundled with devices.”

Unlike other HMV stores, this Cambridge branch will feature a small cafe? next to the technology area which will offer both open Wi-Fi and free recharging connection points. A place to recharge whilst you recharge, if you will.

The retailer says this is part of its transformation in response to the changing way that people now discover entertainment content. It is focusing on developing a multi-channel offer across its combined store, online and digital estate.

HMV recently had to vacate another store in the Cambridge area due to redevelopment, and the majority of staff from that location will be moving to this new branch. Cambridge store manager Mike Barry said: “The whole team here is looking forward to welcoming back our regular customers as well as new visitors, who we hope will particularly like the expanded technology department and our HMV cafe? with free Wi-Fi.”

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