New product categories are growing in their share of sales at HMV, with the entertainment chain now looking to push ahead to accelerate further growth.
During the first half of HMV's financial year (26 weeks ending October 23rd 2010), new product categories grew to 12 per cent of sales (2009: nine per cent), mainly driven by an increased focus on technology. In addition, the Studio, a new purpose-designed department in which to display entertainment-related clothing was rolled out to all stores.
The sales performance during the period has now led the chain to conclude that it must 'accelerate its product mix evolution'.
Elsewhere at HMV, total sales were £749.5 million (2009: £797.0m), down six per cent, and like for like sales were down 11.5 per cent (2009: 2.1 per cent). At HMV UK and Ireland, total sales were down 15.3 per cent, with like for likes down 16.1 per cent.
"The increased seasonal loss reflects the tough trading conditions in HMV UK, where good progress in growing new product categories was not sufficient to offset weak entertainment markets," said chief executive Simon Fox.
HMV is expecting Christmas trading to be driven by a strong line-up of products, including Toy Story 3 and Shrek Forever After items. The next four weeks of the key Christmas trading period, together with the final four months of the financial year, accout for almost 60 per cent of HMV's full year sales.