Zavvi is back - whodda thunk it?
The seemingly doomed nationwide retail chain has been acquired by The Hut Group, which runs the online stores of Asda, WH Smith, Phones 4U & LoveFilm. Financial details were not disclosed (I suspect peanuts for the brand alone) but it will sensibly reposition Zavvi as an online entertainment store and diversify sales to include electricals, computing, perfumes and lingerie.
Yes, this is an odd combination but given the now Cheshire based firm will also be creating 100 jobs in our battered economy over the next 12 months let's not be too cynical. The first iteration of Zavvi online launches today with a 10 per cent discount promotion available to all and valid until 6 March.
"Zavvi is a major player in entertainment retail, both in the UK and Ireland," said Hut CEO Matthew Moulding in a statement. "Our aim is to capitalise on this well recognised high street brand and transform the business into a leading class online retailer, not only in entertainment, but also across lifestyle products. The new discounted price points, supported by significant future investment in customer driven functionality improvements, should enable us to create an exciting online retailer."
The relaunch brings Zavvi back from the brink after the rather long sighted Sir Richard Branson sold the Virgin Megastore high street chain to rather more short sighted managers in September 2007. With CD and DVD shopping largely moving online, Zavvi always faced an uphill battle but the fact it hadn't even launched an online downloads store by the time it went into administration in December 2008 said everything.
Third time lucky? Hut has the online experience, so maybe.