Etailer Overclockers UK is thinking about opening High Street shops, with a final decision depending on the success of Kingston HyperX’s pop-up store experiment.
Earlier this month, PCR broke the news that OCUK would be selling physical goods in the store this week only at 27 Peter Street in Soho, London.
Kingston’s PC gaming components and accessories brand HyperX opened the ‘Meet the Pros’ pop-up shop, in conjunction with Intel and OCUK, as facilitated by PR agency Zaboura.
The news comes after rival etailer Ebuyer trialled physical sales at The Gadget Show Live last month, which has outlined its intentions to dabble in the High Street space.
Now Overclockers has thrown its hat into the ring, refusing to rule out the potential to open its own brick and mortar stores in the future.
Miodrag Relic, business development director for Caseking group (which owns Overclockers), told PCR at the pop-up shop press event: "We are definitely considering our options, and unlike Ebuyer, we actually have a presence in Central London.
"As always in a business, all options are on the table, and if we see a viable financial opportunity with a good return on investment, there is always the option to expand our operation, whether it’s online or in a physical presence on the High Street.
"After talking to our customers who came to see us today, it seems they want us to open a shop on the High Street because it’s more convenient for them, if they need an item to be tested, replaced and repaired, they would need such an option. And it seems the faithful Overclockers UK customers want us to come to London, and for that reason we are considering our options.
"So we will consider our options, like Ebuyer. This pop-up shop is definitely a way for us to test the water to see how many people will come and what kind of interest we can generate. Then we’re going to analyse the entire situation and if we see it is favourable, we will definitely start considering how do we do something like this over the next 12 to 18 months, and see where we go from there."
In the pop-up shop this week – open from May 27th to 31st – there are products available to buy including SSDs, RAM, headsets and more, at a discount (see our image gallery for specific prices). Plus, customers can meet OCUK’s overclocking expert Ian ‘8Pack’ Parry and former pro League of Legends eSports gamer Stephen ‘Snoopeh’ Ellis in-store.
There’s a front cafe space, as well as a competition running, allowing participants to race in Project Cars, with a PC gaming rig up for grabs for the person with the fastest lap time.
Overclockers already has a store in Newcastle, where customers can come in and try out PCs and accessories, before choosing them off the website and receiving them from the OCUK warehouse.
"The difficulty would be how to replicate that in London, because to have a warehouse the size of our Stoke one in London would be financially impossible. We could maybe have the most popular brands or items in the store," added Overclockers UK executive director Steve Ling.
Relic commented: "It’s a proper shop, you can come and experience the product and get advice, but it’s in the North of England. So we’d need something to cover other parts of the country, whether it’s Manchester, Birmingham, London, or maybe some other places."
Ann Keefe, Kingston HyperX regional director for the UK and Ireland, said: "We wanted to showcase our HyperX product range and wanted to do something different from a PR point of view.
"With products like headsets, people want to see them, try them and hear them. So we thought we should this in London. And we thought we should do it with a couple of partners to make it more interesting, so we approached Intel and they joined in.
"Then we thought if people want to see a product they might want to buy one, so we decided to choose Overclockers as they’re a PC gaming specialist. They build their systems with our products so they’re a good partner of ours and can take the stock in the store and sell it. Also, they have their forum which helped make this a talking point, as has social media.
"The first customer that walked into the pop-up shop, we asked him how he found out about it and he said: ‘I saw it on the Overclockers forum!’"