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HMV Plotting to Launch ‘Social Media Cafes’ and Free Store Wi-Fi

Struggling high street retailer HMV has outlined plans to launch ‘social media cafes’, signalling a move even further into gadgets and tech.

With sales of physical media declining and the company’s profits falling below £1 billion for the first time since 2002, HMV has been making consumer technology a much bigger part of its business. Stores now feature everything from iPads to the latest AirPlay speakers, to laptops and games consoles.

The retail chain now plans to launch social media cafes as a part of existing stores, with the first one opening in Cambridge. Shoppers will be able to take time out to have a sit, drink a coffee and get online while charging their gadgets. The cafes will feature free Wi-Fi for customers, as well as charging points, although HMV hasn’t stated whether it will provide a host of charging connections or if customers will need to bring their own.

Stores around the country will also benefit from the addition of free Wi-Fi, which is being rolled out gradually as of now. New technology areas will be merged into the cafes, where the latest tablets such as the Google Nexus 7 will be on display and ready to play with.

The Cambridge store will be the first of its kind, and if things go well we’re sure this type of HMV store will start to pop up around the country in the future. It opens this Saturday (August 18th), with signings by various musicians, including X Factor’s Aiden Grimshaw, on hand to promote the new store.

Will a big push into the consumer technology market save HMV and its ailing fortunes?

Let us know your thoughts on our comments below or via our @Gadget_Helpline Twitter page or Official Facebook group.