Entertainment retailer HMV has today reported a like-for-like (LFL) sales decline of 11.6 per cent in the 20 weeks to September 15th 2012 as it continues to struggle, though expects its position to improve in the run-up to Christmas.
HMV explained that the slump was not unexpected and blamed the fall on a quiet summer of releases of music, games and DVD’s and pointed out that its sales trends are much the same as those reported in its previous trading update.
During the period, total sales plummeted 14.8 per cent though this takes into account the impact of store closures and marketing spends decreased as “suppliers generally held back in response to the Jubilee, the Euro championships and the London 2012 Games,” according to a spokesperson.
Sales of portable digital technology devices, products and services grew strongly over the period, the retailer said, thanks to its store refits and commitment to improving its in-store service proposition, though this has done little to increase its market position.
In it’s interim trading statement, the group said: “As anticipated the summer has seen a very quiet new release schedule in the Group’s core music, visual and games markets and, whilst the Group has increased share in these markets, it has continued to experience significant market value declines.”
A strategic review of the remaining HMV Live business is ongoing following the disposal of Hammersmith Apollo for £32 million in June which enabled the group to amend its £220 million Bank Facility with existing lenders and as such the retailer is positive about trading in the coming months.
HMV CEO Trevor Moore, who was announced as the successor to Simon Fox last month, said: “These numbers reflect the challenging markets in which we operate.
“However, the like for like decline was less marked towards the end of the period and we should be helped in the remainder of the year by a strong pipeline of new releases in the music, DVD and games markets ahead of Christmas.”