Entertainment group HMV is expanding its fledgling fashion offer with the introduction of a raft of big-name brands next week.
Although the brands have some music associations, their mainstream status represents an extension of the retailer’s clothing offer, which has until now had a clear connection to its core categories.
The initiative is part of the 285-store chain’s ambitions to transform itself into a “broad-based entertainment brand”. HMV expects fashion and other new merchandise categories to account for 6% of sales by 2013 compared with 3% now.
The ranges will predominantly feature men’s clothing, such as T-shirts, jackets and jeans, and accessories, which it hopes will appeal to young people in particular.
HMV fashion manager and former Fat Face head of menswear Richard Stockwell said: “Music and fashion can be a perfect fit for HMV, not least because they overlap so strongly.”
The company push into fashion represents a natural progression, which for some years has stocked licensed merchandise, such as band T-shirts, supplied by manufacturers Bravado and Amplified.
Fashion ranges will be displayed in an in-store department branded The Studio, first launched with a small-scale offer in Leeds in May.
Smaller HMV stores will stock a limited clothing selection, while new lines will also be sold online and potentially at HMV-owned music venues and festival locations.