Ok, so how do you save the retailer HMV
Well, in terms of the online market, I really think they came to the party too late. When they finally started to shift from high street to online, Amazon, Play and the supermarkets had this area well and truly covered.
You then move on to downloads and streaming and I think it is fair to say that most UK retailers missed the boat on this one. iTunes have the music sorted and it would take a massive budget to shift that monster. And with Amazon purchasing LoveFilm and Sky starting to dabble in movies on demand I think that will be a very hard area to move into.
So, it leaves the High Street. HMV currently has 239 stores and I am sure some of these make money. I guess you need to strip back to the core stores and start again. Or do you?
In St Albans, we have a HMV. And if you get rid of that, the only place to buy physical music / DVDs / Games etc would be one of the supermarkets. And there are not on the High Street.
I have an idea for St Albans. Here we go.
Split the store into 2. It is quite a big space, so easy to do this. Start selling the top 10 of everything, not the top 40. Have you docking stations to charge and download from a "HMV" online store. Sell products that are unique to the market. Headphones, cases, tablets. Have experts that can offer real advice. You can get help from Amazon, you just get "you brought that, then why not buy this" Real customer service might be the difference.
If you look at Apple, they started selling computers and then were forward thinking enough to get into mobile, downloads and Apps. I think their future might actually be in TV. However they keep launching retail stores in a time when retail is really struggling. And if you have been in an Apple store, it is a unique shopping experience. Amazing design in terms of their space, people that know the product, quick and easy ways to pay and you can try every product. And the interesting thing is you can buy all there products online and at many different websites. So there is a place for retail to work.
But, what to do with the other 50% of the store. In St Albans we have a milkshake shop called the Shaken Cow and pretty much every lunchtime / after school every day it is packed. On Saturdays and Sundays you can get in the door. I happen to know the owner and I think he has had 2 days off in the last 3 years. They are busy.
Why not stick one of those in, or a juice bar, or a non-alcholic bar or what every the kids are drinking now days.
And then add in a stage. Give it to the community for free. Get bands to play. And I am sure if someone played, the audience might buy something. I remember going to Tower Records to watch an album launch. It was excellent. I brought the album. What happened to those days!
If every lunchtime a unknown artist played a 5 /6 song set and I could eat some lunch and enjoy the music, I would go.
Make the shop a destination.
I for one, hope HMV survives. A massive loss for the High Street if it doesn't make it.
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