Another day, another HMV announcement that comes without the Knowledge-Stick of Castaldo. The poor guy is probably struggling to keep up as HMV mutates its business seven or eight times a day.
Earlier in the week, you'll recall, it was suddenly going to be a cinema. Now, though, it's decided to be a mobile phone store instead:
The deal puts what Orange calls "show and sell" spaces into HMV shops, where Orange staff can demonstrate to punters why they don't need a dedicated MP3 player or portable video device when a high-end telephone will do both jobs almost as well. Glasgow, Plymouth and Teesside will be the first of a hundred such spaces to be created in time for Christmas.
Because, of course, the natural place to go if you want a telephone would be a record shop.
The idea seems to be in allowing Orange staff to persuade HMV customers to buy something they didn't want. They could try this with their music offerings, too, I suppose - inviting people to tell customers trying to buy Westlife that, actually, they might think about buying something better instead.
I'm not sure that this is quite going to work, though - it assumes that there are a large number of people who go to HMV to buy mp3 players in the first place, and that they're going to be persuadable that they don't know their own minds in large enough numbers to make it worthwhile. Have they done any testing on this? Because my guess would be that the sort of people who buy mp3 players at HMV are going to be either impulse-buying or else purchasing as a gift for other people - neither of which categories would obviously scream as being easy targets to lock in to a contract.
If only Gennaro was able to shed some light into this curious development. Perhaps he's preparing to issue guidance to editors if HMV announce plans to sell kitchenware some time tomorrow.