HMV to open at least 20 Xmas pop-up stores

HMV to open at least 20 Xmas pop-up stores
A customer sampling some of the new technology offers at a HMV store

By Gemma Taylor 10:41AM - Fri 16th September 2011

Entertainment group HMV is to open an increased number of pop-up stores throughout the UK in the run up to this Christmas, it has been announced.

More than 20 of these short-term shops will be opened by the music retail this year, compared to 18 last Christmas, in the hope of enticing more customers to buy their media and technology presents on the high street this year.

Earlier this year the company launched the ‘fast-forward’ roll out of its technology offer to over 150 stores across the UK and Ireland, as the company extends its current range of technology products in-store.

The group hopes that the new pop-up stores will allow for a presence in locations that may not be commercially viable year-round and will encourage consumers to spend due to the limited availability period.

Mark Bowles, HMV Group’s Property Director, explained that the move gives the retailer the scope to connect with its target market.

“HMV has successfully operated Short Term Lease (STL) or ‘Pop-Up’ stores for a couple of years now,” he told Retail Gazette.

“We find they complement our existing estate very well, and enable us to extend our entertainment offer during the vital run-in to Christmas, when many of the ‘once-a-year’ gift shoppers tend to be out in force.”

Entertainment and music sectors retailers have struggled throughout the well-documented financial troubles in the UK, particularly due to the rise in online piracy.

Paul Quirke, Chairman of pressure group Entertainment Retailers Association, claimed earlier this week that retailers have lost £250 million since the passing of the Digital Economy Act into law last June.

While combating this issue will take time, a number of retailers have improved their technology advancement and in-store digital offerings to make themselves more attractive to tech-savvy consumers.

Bowles explained: “A few years ago the IT infrastructure of retail businesses wasn’t quite ready to support ‘pop-up’ concepts, but now a site can be wired and fitted out to a pretty high standard with a reasonably quick turnaround and to a level that doesn’t compromise your customer service or brand integrity in any significant way.”

Pop-up stores have become increasingly popular during the tough economic climate and Bowles feels that these innovations have numerous benefits.

“Of course, it also helps that landlords can be more disposed towards STL stores - recognising the value of getting in well-known brands to occupy potentially empty sites and thus enhance the appeal of their centre’s offer and increase footfall for the benefit of all their clients,” he said.

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