Zavvi in shock High Street return

the hut is planning to bring Zavvi back to the High Street, MCV can reveal.

The news emerges 12 months after the brand’s original owner plunged into administration. The Hut bought the Zavvi name earlier this year and re-launched it online.

Now the firm is meeting with landlords to negotiate the creation of temporary Zavvi Christmas stores in time for September next year, which will remain open for five months.

Signing long-term leases may not be sensible at this stage,” said commercial director Richard Chapple. 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.

We are in discussions about locations with the various landlords,” he continued. We are taking this seriously. If it costs us millions, I doubt we will proceed. But if the risk is manageable, then we’ll go for it. We can see the benefit in going out there, talking to more consumers and building our name on the High Street.

Hopefully we’ll have more to say on it in the New Year.”

The return to the High Street is just one of many new initiatives being discussed at the company in a radical shake-up for the Zavvi brand.

A download platform is also on the cards, as well as a user marketplace, toys category, video-on-demand service, music streaming, flash arcade – and even a consumer show.

Chapple was one of the men behind the Live consumer event at Wembley in 2008. And he is now keen to do something similar with Zavvi.

This is our most aspirational idea,” he admitted.
I was one of the guys behind Live, and I see the value in coming offline and putting products in people’s hands, and then relating that experience back to the brand.

We’ve got some ideas. But knowing how successful it has been in the past, I am keen to do something like that again.”

In the meantime, The Hut is working hard on its digital offer. MP3 downloads should be available from early next year, with games and films to follow.

In early 2010 you’ll see an MP3 offering from us, which we’re doing with the help of aggregators,” added Chapple.

Our ambition in this space is to create our own digital platform so that we can add games and video in the future.

For The Hut and Zavvi, as well as our white label sites, we want to get the download offer right as soon as we can.”

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