HMV faces ‘mammoth task’ as sales dip

The scale of the challenge that faces HMV’s marketers and new CEO Trevor Moore has been laid bare as the entertainment retailer reports a further drop in sales.

HMV’s multichannel strategy has yet to impact on sales.

HMV has this year outlined a multichannel marketing driven strategy to improve performance and ring its business in-line with the way consumers are accessing music and entertainment content across physical and digital platforms.

Initiatives include:

The impact of the changes, however, is yet to be seen with the group posting an 11.6 per cent fall in like for like sales in the 20 weeks to 15 September. Total sales, including the impact of store closures, fell 14 per cent.

The retailer says sales of technology devices are “growing strongly” and it is continuing to refit stores to make more space available for its tech departments.
Poor sales in its core music, film and games division are attributed to a “quiet summer release schedule” but HMV anticipates that a series of high profile releases in the final three months of the year will boost performance.

The results are the first presided over by Moore, who joined from Jessops a month ago to replace Simon Fox who left to join Trinity Mirror.

Despite HMV’s continued efforts to reverse its fortunes, analysts remain unconvinced that it will be able to survive over the long term.

Joseph Robinson, lead consultant of Conlumino, says the results show the “mammoth task” facing Trevor Moore, adding that HMV’s outlook “seems bleak to say the least”.

“There are very few obvious bright spots on the horizon for HMV … The fact remains that HMV’s proposition is becoming increasingly irrelevant in the modern retail landscape. While it is being proactive in its attempts to evolve its offer through a greater focus on technology, this does not constitute a persuasive encouraging long term plan for survival,” he says.

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