Orange is getting into the music biz (sort of), sealing a deal with entertainment retailer HMV for concession stands within 15 of their high street outlets.
With a view to opening between 60 and 100 if things go swimmingly, this trial run will include Orange setting up shop within more ‘rural’ branches in Glasgow and Teeside, selling mobile phone deals as well as offering music, movies and games via their online portal.
Orange’s 3G handset sale strategy is well aligned with HMV’s plans, as both are eager to dominate the lucrative space of providing users with downloadable content. Orange are very committed to the move, reportedly bringing in their own staff to run the outlet, as well as paying HMV for the rental of floor space and giving up a share of the revenue.
Orange UK’s CEO is said to have personally negotiated the deal, and is suitably excited about the move:
“‘Moving beyond mobile and into media and entertainment is a key part of our future, and joining forces with such an iconic and well-loved brand as HMV allows us to mark our clear intention in this area, while expanding our presence on the high street.”
The move to sell out of other retail outlets is nothing new, with Vodafone having a store in Harrods and Carphone Warehouse holed up deep within Selfridges.
However, the distinct difference is whilst these are department stores with a vast array of products in their retail space, HMV is distinctly more narrow in terms of both products sold and target demographic.
3 have also tried – and failed – to sell handsets from out of concession stands inside Superdrug and HMV alike, whilst HMV has seen sales shrink amidst the onslaught of digital downloads and cheap deals from online retailers including Play.com and Apple’s iTunes.
Perhaps the shoppers Orange and HMV are desperately seeking to court with their online content are already technology savvy enough to seek it elsewhere?
Time will tell.
Source: Mobile Today