Tag Archives: staff

HMV calls for help as Twilight ends

12 Mar

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I can’t read about failed music retailer HMV without feeling sorry for the brand and picturing Poppy Rose Cleere – the woman who gave the world live updates as the big bods culled staff in a mass firing.

So, when I saw this well-received PR stunt my instant reaction was: ‘it’s great that they’re still making a go of things’. That’s right – pity praise.

This is the story of what HMV did:

To celebrate (or commiserate – whatever you’re into) the release of the final Twilight film on DVD, HMV has installed a telephone box in its Westfield store that has the film’s national helpline on speed dial to support troubled fans.

Featuring 30-second pre-recorded messages from the main cast, all people need to do is pick up the phone to be transferred to the comforting sound of the actors’ voices, including: Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner. The helpline, as a whole, has been so successful it received more than 2,000 calls on the first day.

HMV has done well to capitalise on Twilight’s multi-million dollar industry by adding to the experience of the final chapter, while giving people an extra reason to buy in-store.

I hope we see another fresh PR trick by HMV in the coming weeks – it sends out a strong message during troubled times.

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M&S challenges customers to DIY

20 Aug

High street retailer M&S’ latest idea to give iPads to staff in its wine and clothing departments to boost business is, quite frankly, a waste of money.

The idea is that employees can use the devices to assist customers with finding out more on full product ranges and ordering items instantly to save time in long queues. But, how many consumers can’t do this themselves? Research by Ofcom shows that 39% own a smartphone and 11% own a tablet. If they don’t have access to this then surely the customer services desk is the solution?

M&S is also installing information screens in-store to support customers with checking availability of products. Although in this current climate it wouldn’t be my priority to replicate troubled store Argos’ USP (the company was forced to admit that poor sales meant profits nosedived last quarter.) Consumers are so savvy now it’s clear that they know what they want and where to find it.

I’m all up for technology making our lives easier but in M&S’ case it just seems unnecessary. Surely a big corporation can’t kid itself into thinking a portable computer can empower employees so much that the relationships with their customers will be strengthened? So, what’s it hiding?

Let’s hope this isn’t a cover up for M&S testing if customers can do employees’ work for them. My tip for the iPad staff – download a job search app just in case.

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