HMV: Weak performance of Waterstone’s is drag on trading

MUSIC and book retailer HMV posted a fall in like-for-like sales over Christmas – dragged down by the poor performance of its Waterstone’s business.

Sales in the five weeks to January were down 1.2 per cent overall even though the group’s CD and DVD chain in the UK and Ireland saw a lift of 2.2 per cent compared to the same period last year. Waterstone’s, where sales plunged by 8.5 per cent, will now be run by new managing director Dominic Myers.

HMV chief executive Simon Fox said: “Whilst the recent performance of Waterstone’s has been unsatisfactory, it remains an excellent business and brand, with a great opportunity as the only remaining specialist bookseller on the high street.”

He said that CD sales had been boosted by albums from X Factor participants such as Susan Boyle.

Fox also confirmed that HMV had agreed a trial partnership with nightclub group Luminar for cross marketing to the customers of both businesses.