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Ex-Fat Face buyer to lead HMV’s fashion venture

Former Fat Face head of menswear buying Richard Stockwell is to lead entertainment group HMV’s plans to generate 9% of its £1.96bn turnover from fashion sales by 2013.

Stockwell, who has previously worked at Marks & Spencer and Arcadia, has been appointed fashion manager at HMV, with responsibility for trebling its fashion sales through the creation of a dedicated fashion area in its stores called The Studio.

The Studio will debut in HMV’s Leeds store at the end of April, following which dedicated The Studio departments will roll out in up to 40 of its biggest stores. A smaller Studio Lite range will be launched in the rest of HMV’s 280-store portfolio by the end of the summer.

HMV group chief executive Simon Fox, who has overseen the diversification of HMV’s offer towards a multi-channel entertainment provider, envisages that within three years technology and fashion combined will account for the same proportion of sales in HMV as CDs.

Stockwell’s team includes two merchandisers responsible for artist T-shirts and other licensed products, but he will also develop a small fashion buying team.

Initially, The Studio will stock band or film-related merchandise, but HMV wants to capitalise on the trend for artists such as Amy Winehouse, Lady Gaga and Liam Gallagher to collaborate on their own fashion ranges. Fox said: “We sell their music, we think we can sell their fashion.”

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