A CHAIN of music shops, which started life as a Glasgow market stall, is set to go digital in a bid to secure its future.
There was despair among music fans last year when more than 50 Fopp stores around the UK closed their doors.
The brand was bought by HMV and a handful of shops – including three in Scotland – have since reopened.
But now the music giant has revealed plans to rebuild the chain and is considering installing download kiosks and offering free internet access in a bid to make shops a part of the social life of music fans.
HMV is already looking to install facilities to allow customers to buy music digitally in its outlets.
Spokesman Gennaro Castaldo said: "We are looking to stay true to the original spirit of Fopp, but also keen to attract new customers.
"We are particularly mindful of what Fopp customers want and demand.
"If they tell us they would like to see download kiosks in stores then that would be something we would definitely consider for the future."
The kiosks – on trial at a couple of HMV stores – allow customers to download tracks on to a memory stick, which they can then transfer to a PC, mobile phone or MP3 player. The HMV Group hopes in the future to be able to provide facilities which would allow people to download music and films directly on to MP3 players.
They are also looking at technology which could see shoppers downloading tracks to their mobile phones using the Bluetooth wireless network.
Castaldo also revealed future plans for Fopp stores, of which there are two in Glasgow and one in Edinburgh.
"Just recently we opened a new Fopp store in Bristol, a city where Fopp had operated successfully in the past.
"As and when the appropriate sites in the appropriate locations become available we will consider opening new Fopp branches.
"We don't want to have a rapid expansion plan only to have it all fall down again.We would rather allow an organic growth to take place.
"That is how Fopp grew initially and became successful," he added.
He said cities with large student numbers on both sides of the border would be among the first to be considered.
Both Aberdeen and Dundee, which boast four universities and numerous colleges between them, had popular Fopp outlets for years, but they did not reopen after the HMV takeover.