Zavvi owners mull pop-up stores in U.K.

Also considering the launch of a digital service

LONDON -- The Hut Group, owners of the Zavvi brand, are considering following U.K. entertainment retailer HMV by launching temporary stores.

The Cheshire-based company acquired the Zavvi name from the administrators following the demise of the entertainment retailer in early 2009. It now runs Zavvi.com as an online store but is looking at other opportunities.

Commercial director Richard Chapple told MCV that is in discussions with landlords for leases in Q4 2010.

"Signing long-term leases may not be sensible at this stage," Chapple tells MCV. "But seeing how well our competitors have done with Christmas pop-up stores gave us the idea to do the same. The footfall is there, the product release schedule for all entertainment is phenomenal, and you can probably make a profit during that quarter."

However, the focus is on adding a download store to the Zavvi site. "That increases your offer to the customer," Chapple said, adding that he wants to launch a digital service in the first quarter.

Chapple has also considered a return to bricks-and-mortar stores.

"We're never shy to look at opportunities as well and if there was a great opportunity on the high street in the next year to two years, that's not to say we wouldn't consider getting back into that space as well, but we've got to get the online store right first," he said.
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