HMV sales fall due to football fever

HMV has reported a 14.9% drop in like for like sales as the retailer’s performance was hit by the World Cup.

The HMV Group, which includes the Waterstone’s book chain and the HMV Live division, reported a 5.6% fall in total sales for the 19 weeks to September 4

The Waterstone’s chain reported a 1.6% fall in total sales and a 2.6% fall in like for like sales during the period but the Group says its market share performance improved.

Its Live division, which includes a series of live music venues and festivals, is performing “in line with expectations” and sales at venues wholly owned by HMV were up 8%.

The Group says its festivals performed below expectations due to “disappointing attendance” at High Voltage.

The Group plans to operate three further music festivals in summer 2011.

HMV says it is gearing up for the Christmas trading period and is making “good progress” on all three aspects of its turnaround strategy.

Simon Fox, HMV Group chief executive, says: “At Waterstone’s the initiatives to strengthen our specialist positioning, localise our store offer and revitalise our market leading brand have had a positive impact on trading.”

During the period HMV launched HMVDigital, its online music download service and introduced a fashion range to stores.

HMV is partway through a turnaround plan for Waterstone’s, which includes a rebrand and store refit programme.

Founder Tim Waterstone is rumoured to be interested in buying back the chain if HMV puts it up for sale.

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