HMV pins its hopes on DVD Xmas sales

City A.M. Reporter
MUSIC, games and books retailer HMV says releases of films such as Sex and the City 2 and Toy Story 3 will help its key Christmas period as it tries to bounce back from a disappointing start to the year.

“All I can say about Christmas is that the release schedule in particular is looking healthy,” chief executive Simon Fox said on the sidelines of the World Retail Congress in Berlin. Our like-for-likes were very disappointing in the first 18 weeks. It’s a tough year for us.”

HMV, which also owns live music venues, in September reported a worse than expected 15 per cent drop in first-quarter sales in Britain and Ireland.

Fox said live music bookings at its venues for the period up to Christmas were also looking healthy and that its foray into clothing sales had started well.

“So far, so good, but it’s early days,” he said, pointing out that the line was only launched in September. He declined to comment on the outlook for 2011 although was looking forward to the launch of Nintendo’s D’Alema player, which he said would be a “huge product”.

Nintendo had said last month that it was putting the Japan launch date for the product, which can be used without special glasses, back to late February from November, close to the US March launch date. However, Fox said: “As far as I am concerned they did not delay the launch. We always expected an Easter launch.”