Business News HMV Timeline Retail

Amazon biggest entertainment retailer in UK, considering physical store in the US

By | Published on Wednesday 8 February 2012


More gloom for HMV, though to be honest I think I assumed Amazon had overtaken His Masters Voice as the UK’s biggest home entertainment retailer some time ago.

But apparently not. The online retailer overtook the high street chain in the run up to Christmas last year, making it the biggest seller of CDs, DVDs and video games in the UK, with a 22.4% market share. HMV is still in second place with 17.5%, putting it ahead of other mail-order sites, download stores and the supermarkets, though, of course, its costs – having to operate 200+ high street stores selling just entertainment product – are so much higher.

These figures come from research company Kantar Worldpanel, whose Consumer Insight Director Fiona Keenan, says: “Amazon’s strong performance is down to a number of factors: it is typically really competitive on price, has a wide range of products with no restriction on display space, and is known for its very good customer service”.

After HMV and Amazon come: Tesco (11.4%), Asda (8.1%), Game (7.7%), Sainsbury’s (5.2%), (4.9%), iTunes (3%) and Morrisons has (2.7%).

In related and sort of interesting news, Amazon is reportedly considering launching its first ever high street store, in Seattle. Which might seem like a crazy move given its competitive advantage over HMV et al is its lack of high street infrastructure, though according to reports plans for an Amazon shop should be seen more as an effort to take on Apple than the HMVs of this world, with the online retailer looking for new ways to promote its increasingly expansive range of digital content devices.

Elsewhere in HMV gloom news, the retailer’s Irish business has just filed financials for the year up to 30 Apr 2010, revealing it made a loss of 2.5 million euros, compared to a 631,000 euro profit the previous year. The flagging entertainment retailer has fifteen stores in Ireland.