HMV Group trading suffers as Waterstone’s sales plunge

The HMV Group’s revenue was down 1.2% like-for-like over Christmas as Waterstone’s plunging results offset HMV’s positive results.


The high street bookstore chain saw total sales fall 8.6% in the five weeks ending 2 January, with like for like sales down 8.5%.

The Group’s entertainment chain HMV fared better recording its third consecutive year of record trading. Like for like sales were up 2.2% over the five week period and total sales at the entertainment retailer were up 14.6% which it says was driven by the performance of its temporary pop-up stores and ex-Zavvi sites the chain took over after its rival collapsed.

Sales of technology products were up 50% year on year and the retailer’s online platform saw double-digit growth.

On the back of today’s trading result, Waterstone’s managing director Gerry Johnson has left the company with immediate effect and is replaced by current group development director Dominic Myers.

HMV chief executive Simon Fox says: “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. I am therefore confident that the changes we are making to this business will enable us to transform its performance.”

A formal offer document for HMV’s £46m bid to buy live music business Mama Group, which it jointly owns 11 live music venues with, is expected tomorrow.

HMV is also thought to be in talks with nightclub group Luminar over a possible joint venture which would see both companies cross-marketing to each other’s customers.


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