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HMV boss remains bullish, says company will outperform Amazon in CD/DVD market soon

By | Published on Monday 1 September 2014


The boss of HMV reckons that the high street retailer could soon regain its title as the biggest seller of CDs and DVDs in the UK, as the once flagging entertainment retail firm catches up on Amazon.

Although HMV’s financials are not so easy to assess since current owner Hilco took the company into private ownership after HMV plc went into administration last year, the equity firm’s top man Paul McGowan has been bullish from the start, and even more so in recent months, previously chatting to the Telegraph about the entertainment retailer, and now the Mail On Sunday.

McGowan says that by streamlining the formerly top-heavy HMV company, and only holding on to the profitable HMV stores – a policy which has resulted in a steady stream of store closures, but also openings, since Hilco took over – the all-new HMV has been profitable from day one.

The subsequent growth in market share, McGowan reckons, is partly down to the increase in live events being staged in the retailer’s stores. Though the company is also seemingly benefiting from a slight upturn in the sale of physical music products overall. CD sales in the last few months are up, according to the Mail On Sunday, after a decade plus of decline.

That overall upturn might be simply down to the impulse-purchases made by those visiting HMV’s stores for the aforementioned live events. Though it may also be partly due to the success of initiatives like Record Store Day, which is ironically spearheaded by the indie record stores which once saw HMV as the enemy.

Either way, HMV has told the Mail that its CD and vinyl sales together were up 21% in the last two months, with DVD sales also up 6%. HMV’s sales growth is seemingly four-times faster than the market at large, hence McGowan’s optimism that his high street business could soon outperform mail-order king Amazon in the CD and DVD domain.

He told the paper: “It’s only a matter of time before we overtake Amazon. HMV is re-engaging with music shoppers and getting them back into shops. This is about being an authority in music, not selling music as a commodity”.