A trading update from retailer HMV for the last five weeks ended January 2 indicates that its move into new lines of business like digital media are starting to pay off. The company says sales at the group grew by 6.7 percent.
To further its position in ticketing and live entertainment, the company is putting in a formal offer of £46 million for the MAMA Group tomorrow. Some of the digital highlights…
– “Double-digit” sales growth in e-commerce. No comment on which products–music, books, electronics–were selling best, and what this growth means in terms of actual numbers.
– Over 80,000 e-books were downloaded at Waterstones.com over the five-week period. Again, no detail on what this is in terms of actual revenues–and by how much that is offsetting losses in physical book sales at Waterstone’s, “the only remaining specialist bookseller on the high street,” in the words of CEO Simon Fox. Sales at Waterstones were down by 8.6 percent.
– The company has yet to migrate its e-commerce operation over to 7digital, the mp3 download site that sold a 50 percent stake to HMV (LSE: HMV) for £7.7 million in September 2009. HMV says it plans to relaunch its digital store, integrating the 7digital platform, in the final quarter of this year, which means the end of the summer to you and me.
– Growing consumer electronics business to offset decline in music sales? The company says sales of “technology and related products” grew by 50 percent over the period at HMV UK.