HMV is to bring in a deal-terms management system to help buyers track negotiations with music, DVD and games suppliers.
The web-based system will be provided by Eqos, with phase one of the implementation going live in the autumn, ready to handle the many deals that HMV runs over the peak Christmas trading period. Once operational, the retailer will extend the functionality to handle campaigns made up of deals with multiple suppliers, and the management of supplier-funded marketing.
HMV head of finance systems and information Steve Consalvi said the retailer had been looking at a solution for this area for several years.
It has become more of a strategic priority to introduce a system at a time when there is pressure on prices and margins, as well as competition from the supermarkets, he said.
With the system running over the Christmas trading period, he expected to start to see a return on its cost in early 2010, before the end of HMV’s current financial year.
Consalvi explained that the system will allow the retailer to run better, and potentially more, deals. Around 50 buyers will use the system, and about 100 suppliers will also be able to log in to see details of the relevant negotiations and deals they have agreed.
The system will allow buyers to manage and monitor the effectiveness of deals and prevent disputes with suppliers. HMV negotiates deals on net prices of new products, rebates and supplier contributions towards markdown promotions.
Under the existing set-up, negotiations may happen over the phone and be followed up on email.
If there is a dispute at a later date, an email trail must be tracked back.
Separately, HMV launched its rewards scheme Purehmv this week. The scheme allows customers to redeem points on purchases in stores or online against “money can’t buy” items including signed guitars that have been played by the stars, tickets to music festivals and the chance to attend VIP film premieres.