Over the weekend, the Tennessean looked at FYE, the indecipherably named entertainment chain that’s taken over a large number of Tower Records‘ old locations. If you’ve ever wondered just what FYE means, you’re apparently not in the chain’s target demographic:
“The name f.y.e. — For Your Entertainment — says it all,” [marketing director Barry] Burmaster said. “Our brand is about offering all kinds of entertainment products, not just music.”
That’s why, in addition to hosting a steady stream of in-store musical performances, f.y.e. also has scheduled events such as an appearance by members of Nashville-based Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, which airs on cable network SpikeTV.
There’s a reason f.y.e. is interested in selling more than just music.
The company saw November and December same-store sales for music decline 12% compared with the same period the previous year.
“Holiday sales were disappointing and well below our expectations,” Chairman and Chief Executive Robert Higgins said in a recent conference call.
While that downward sales trend echoes the rest of the record industry, it’s hard not to think that there are two things preventing FYE from bringing new customers into its stores–the fact that its prices are substantially higher than those of its big-box competitors (a woman interviewed later in the article says that she buys all of her CDs at Target, where prices for major titles are frequently $3-$4 less than FYE’s, and other titles are even more expensive) and the fact that, despite Burmaster’s assertion, “FYE” is a terrible name. In a way, though, it’s a feat: It’s not every day that you run into an indecipherable acronym representing a phrase that makes even less sense to everyone who isn’t employed by the letter-wielding company.
Tower’s replacement puts music in racks and onstage [Tennessean.com]