HMV turns the music off to open first tech store

Kasmira Jefford
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HMV HAS launched its first store dedicated to technology in London’s Square Mile in a bid to reverse its declining CD and DVD sales in the run up to the crucial Christmas trading period.

The so-called techshop, located in Land Securities’ One New Change mall near St Paul’s, comes after the troubled retailer’s recent expansion into consumer technology as demand for CDs and DVDs wanes.

HMV, which has issued four profit warnings this year, is pinning its hopes on customers seeking technology gadgets such as iPads, speaker docks as well as headphones, which have been enjoying bumper sales.

Around 10m gadgets are expected to be sold in the UK by the end of 2011 – equivalent to a market value of more than £150m, HMV said.

The retailer, which has closed 29 stores and sold its Canadian business and its Waterstone’s bookshops, reported a 15.1 per cent slump in like-for-like sales for the first quarter to 3 September.

HMV signed a short-term lease with landlord Land Securities last week for the site in One New Change as it trials the store and plans to open a second site before Christmas.