Sunday, September 12, 2010

HMV turns out to have been feasting on carcasses all along

Last year, HMV's growth figures were hailed as evidence of a store doing something right. More cynical eyes wondered if the fillip was just down to all the competitors having gone bust.

Year-on-year sales across HMV's businesses in the quarter to September 4th fell by 10 per cent; HMV itself fell by over 14%.

The reasons are clear - having enjoyed the jump of picking up rival's customers, it's now experiencing the sector's drops all on its own.

Of course, HMV won't admit this is the case; it casts about for another explanation:

Chief executive Simon Fox insisted that the danger posed by the World Cup had been flagged up earlier this year. “Suppliers deliberately do not schedule new releases when people will be watching the television,” he said. “This happens every four years.”
Really? A football tournament has taken out seven of every fifty sales, has it? And "suppliers" think "well, there's a World Cup, so we won't bother releasing a DVD in the month of that. Or, for some reason, the month after that. Because people won't buy a DVD or a CD for thirty or forty days after the final whistle has blown.

Summer is always a weak period for releases, which is why you compare the period with the same weak release period from twelve months before.

Fox's plans is to expand some more - fashion (you might have seen the cringe-making Everything Everything Lee/HMV jeans ads last week) and more festivals. It might work, but the real truth is that to grow, HMV needs its rivals to die. It's a carrion corporation.


Anonymous said...

I hadn't been into any HMVs for ages until last month and I've now been in two branches with large clothing sections. In one of them I actually think it was bigger than the music section. It's truly bizarre.

Anonymous said...

The music section in an average HMV now seems to be about two racks. Soon my Tesco's will have greater choice.
And they're starting to do the same with Waterstone's - Huge stocks of Katie Pice and Twilight, less and less of anything else.
Never mind, I can always use their competitors... :(

Francis said...

I went in the local HMV for the first time since my son was born in May and they have now moved the ENTIRE CD section upstairs (and there is no lift so ideal for me and the pushchair..)

The whole of the downstairs in now just clothes, DVD boxsets and books

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