January 05, 2009

Digital music kiosks - HMV to keep faith with high street despite collapse of rivals

MUSIC giants HMV are to defy high street gloom by giving two flagship Scots stores a hi-tech makeover and open new shops. Rivals Zavvi and Woolworths have collapsed as music fans do their shopping on the web.

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But HMV are to expand in Scotland by reopening branches of indie chain Fopp.

And they want to cash in on the internet revolution by selling downloads, gadgets and concert tickets in their shops.

HMV, who say business in Scotland is booming, plan to introduce hi-tech Next Generation stores in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Spokesman Gennaro Castaldo said: "You'll still find a comprehensive range of music, films and home entertainment.

"But we'll now introduce social hubs where you can access your favourite music sites or MP3 kiosks to download new songs.

"Using chip-and-pin technology you can listen to virtually every bit of music that is digitally available.

"If you like it you can keep it and the cost will vary between 59p and 79p a track. Many young people download at home but we don't want them to be a lost generation.

"We'd like them to come into our stores and treat them as more of a social space to hang out."

Castaldo added that HMV were keen to revive some Fopp outlets to appeal to indie music fans. Most of the chain's stores closed in 2007 but HMV rescued its Glasgow and Edinburgh shops.

He said: "We're keen to keep the whole spirit of Fopp alive. We want to keep the indie essence and Scottish roots of the store - but run it independently from HMV."

Posted by staff at January 5, 2009 12:34 PM