Entertainment retailer HMV is hoping that the upcoming release of the late Amy Winehouse’s final album will boost sales, it announced yesterday.
A new recording of unreleased material was found last week following the singer’s death in July and is to be released in early December.
The album, to be called ‘Lioness: Hidden Treasures’ is expected to top the charts and HMV claims that there has been considerable interest from fans already.
It is hoped that the popularity of the release will boost sales for the retailer, which announced at the start of the year that it aimed to close 50 high street stores in the wake of slowing sales and falling profits.
Total retail sales for the group dropped 21.8 per cent in the 18 weeks to September 3rd 2011, while like-for-like sales were down 15.1 per cent compared to the same period last year.
In September, the company also unveiled plans to open at least 20 pop-up shops across the UK in the run up to Christmas, in locations that may not be commercially viable year-round in the hope of encouraging consumers to spend due to the limited availability period.
Focusing on technology and electrical sales has become a priority for the group as customers increasingly look online for music, film and games. Competition in this sector is strong however and so the release of a long-awaited musical offering ought to strengthen the company’s standing during difficult financial times.
Winehouse’s highly-anticipated ‘secret’ album has a strong chance of being the Christmas number one album, according to the retailer.
“This is really exciting news - a lot of people felt there simply had to be some unreleased new material from Amy, and that it was only a matter of time before it came out,” HMV spokesperson Gennaro Castaldo commented.
“Naturally, we’re expecting huge interest in this album - with fans already pre-ordering it, and with its timing so close to Christmas it’s also likely to be a strong contender for the Christmas No.1.”