Blockbuster moves into chart music

Blockbuster, the video and home entertainment retailer, is taking on Woolworths, Virgin and HMV by moving into Top 20 music sales for the first time in the UK.

The US entertainments giant, with 800 stores around Britain, has recruited Woolworths’ entertainment trading controller, Charlie McAuley, and given him a seat on the European board as director of product.

McAuley, who spent 17 years at Woolworths and has worked in the music and video markets, will spearhead the move.

The company is to back the launch with a campaign by GGT. Blockbuster has recently been relaunched, branding all its stores under the Blockbuster Express format. It appointed GGT to handle the 9m push in February. GGT beat incumbent Ogilvy & Mather to win the account (MW February 24).

The move will increase competition in an already tough market which has seen smaller chains such as 4 Play disappear, leaving Virgin and HMV to battle it out. Woolworths is the market leader, and its parent Kingfisher is rolling out its Music & Video Club format.

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