HMV hit by World Cup fever

 
City A.M. Reporter
ENTERTAINMENT company HMV has said that this summer’s World Cup triggered a 14.9 per cent fall in sales in the UK and Ireland.

The firm said potential customers had spurned DVDs, CDs and books to watch the football, hitting the figures which covered the 19 weeks to September.

HMV, which owns the Waterstone’s chain, has based its strategy on the growth of live store events and ticketing, as well as a revival in Waterstone’s book sales.

It said these factors and a stronger product line-up, particularly in games, could deliver a successful Christmas.

At HMV International, which includes HMV stores in Canada, Hong Kong and Singapore, like-for-likes sales were down eight per cent.

HMV group chief executive Simon Fox said: “We continue to make good progress on all three parts of our strategy. The initiatives to strengthen our specialist positioning, localise our store offer and revitalise our market leading brand have had a positive impact on trading.”

HMV also said that plans were well advanced to operate three further music festivals in the summer of 2011.

The company also announced that its group finance director, Neil Bright, would leave the firm in December to join Holidaybreak. Meanwhile, HMV group chairman Robert Swannell will take over as chairman of Marks & Spencer from Sir Stuart Rose in January 2011.