UK Hi-Fi business ready to reopen and adapt says Clarity

posted on Friday, 26th June 2020 by Steve May

Hi-fi  home cinema  Trade 

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100 per cent of hi-fi retailers surveyed by Clarity, the UK hi-fi industry trade association, confirm they have, or will shortly, re-open their shops following the easing of the lockdown rules.

“Music lovers and hi-fi fans will now be able to once again visit their local hi-fi retailers and indulge their passion for better sound and better gear,” says Tom Barron, chairman of Clarity.

The industry was asked how it has been affected by the lockdown, what efforts were made to continue trading and what its plans are for the reopening of shops. It seems that while there has been a reduction in customer spending, for both retailers, manufacturers and distributors, no companies reported a complete cessation of business activities.

The majority of respondents reported that business had continued to tick along during lockdown, albeit with reduced levels of sales. A migration to online selling and click and collect was noted, which helped mitigate the effects of having to close down retail outlets.

One solution adopted by manufacturers and distributors was a ‘drop-shipment’ model, where retailers were able to order products to be delivered direct by the supplier.

Of course, social distancing is changing the retail environment. When it comes to bricks and mortar hi-fi shops, the vast majority of companies have introduced PPE for staff, hand sanitiser for customers and staff and greatly increased cleaning, particularly of frequent contact points like door handles, washrooms, display and demo products and remote controls.

In order to maximise protection for customers and staff alike, government guidelines, including queuing systems, distance markers and limits to the number of people allowed into the shops, have been put in place. A number of retailers have also moved to an appointment only system.

“I am very pleased to see the retailers making concerted efforts to make the environment as safe as possible for shoppers and staff,” says Barron. “We operate in a very people-focused business, where personal contact and consultation is key to helping customers achieve their aims and requirements. And, while it is obviously going to be impossible to continue with business as normal, the retailers will all be doing their best to make the Hi-Fi experience as enjoyable and rewarding as they possibly can.”

Pictured top, Hi-Fi specialist Loud & Clear.

Steve May

Inside CI Editor Steve May is a freelance technology specialist who also writes for T3TechRadarHome Cinema Choice, Trusted Reviews and The Luxe Review.

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