Terrible results from HMV this week: they've managed to turn last year's first half £25m loss into £41.3m, and have taken to weakly warning that the snow might make things worse:
Shares in HMV plunged by more than a quarter this morning after it reported disappointing sales figures and warned that the icy weather was keeping customers away from its shops.Yes, the snow is the problem. People apparently even in the height of summer are avoiding HMV just in case there's lingering ice outside the shop, it looks like.
The throwing of the store into attracting gamers has proved to be a disaster, joining the industry just as games sales slipped first 30% and the 12% year-on-year. Obviously, the effects of being the last standing record shop have worn off. And the glitzy ideas of opening cinemas and promoting music and spoiling the name of venues is looking expensive - the chain is now clunking around under debts of over £150m.
Christmas trading - providing there's no ice, or rain, or wind - should just about pull them into profit for the year. To be fair to Simon Fox, there are many years of slow decline left in his business.