ALTHOUGH tourists are expected to make up 50 per cent of sales at the HMV store in Tsim Sha Tsui, staff have adopted flexible marketing strategies. Store manager Martin Carr, who managed HMV's Trocadero outlet in London before coming to Hong Kong, is taking a 'wait and see' attitude. Breaking into new markets was risky and predicting customer buying trends would take time, said Mr Carr, who has worked for HMV for five years. The store, the largest CD outlet in Southeast Asia, which had been open for three weeks, would modify trading hours and services in line with demand, he said. 'Although we have done a lot of research, we don't know the trading pattern yet and, if opening hours are not what customers want, we will change,' Mr Carr said. 'We have learned a lot since our 'soft' opening in May and have used experience from London's Trocadero, on Piccadilly Circus, which is also a tourist spot. 'Our marketing strategies are slightly different to the other two HMV stores in the territory as we are in a tourist area and the store is so large.' Tourists' buying habits were difficult to predict and staff had to be ready to change product mix overnight, depending on the holiday season. Different CDs would be displayed at the store's 250 'listening posts' during Japanese and American holiday seasons. Japanese-speaking staff and bilingual music experts have been hired to help customers find titles among the store's 300,000 CDs. While product mix in the Tsim Sha Tsui store will be heavily weighted to tourists, it has the largest selection of Canto-pop titles in Hong Kong. 'Before HMV moved into Hong Kong in October, most CD shops were 1,000 square foot or less,' Mr Carr said. 'Each section has a different clientele and we will continually be assessing our ability to cater to all musical tastes.' Recruiting staff locally was one way HMV tried to 'keep its finger on the pulse' and stay informed about buying trends, he said. 'When we opened, we were selling our perception of the best products to suit our perceived customers. 'However, if time proves we have been wrong, we will change our product mix or even floor-space design.' At the Swire House shop, two additional cash registers were installed after it opened in May and the floor design in HMV's first store in Hong Kong, in Causeway Bay, was changed to allow for more Canto-pop. A large disc-jockey booth and state-of-the-art audio visuals created an entertaining atmosphere.