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HMV denies Amazon is now a bigger entertainment retailer

By | Published on Thursday 9 February 2012


HMV has denied that Amazon has surpassed it as the UK’s biggest entertainment retailer, a claim made in that previously reported research by Kantar published earlier this week.

As previously reported, the research firm claimed that in the final quarter of last year Amazon grew its share of the entertainment retail market – so CDs, DVDs and games – to 22.3%, pushing HMV into second place with 17.5%.

Now, we’re not saying the WPP-owned Kantar’s market share assessments aren’t open to dispute (I do know they have a fucking irritating website), but HMV’s rebuttal of the researchers’ stats yesterday wasn’t great.

The company basically said that it is still the market leader providing you only looked at the things it is good at. Take games out of the equation (HMV chief Simon Fox has already admitted his company’s gaming sales have been particularly disappointing of late), and HMV is still a bigger entertainment retailer than Amazon. Presumably that means HMV doesn’t find video games entertaining any more.

Asked about Kantar’s research, HMV spokesman Gennaro Castaldo told NME: “We’re not sure on what basis these calculations were made, but what we do know is that our market share for music and also visual products is actually up, and we believe the figures are a little misleading as they are heavily skewed by the inclusion of games. As we reported recently our sales and share on games were markedly down last year, so if you were to take this out of the equation HMV would still be ahead as the leading entertainment retailer for music and visual combined. We have exciting plans to develop a far more integrated multi-channel retail offer that we are confident will deliver significant benefits to our customer this year”.

He also said that Amazon’s growth was based on heavy discounting and selling some products at a loss, which is a fair point, it is. Though, of course, you could argue that’s just a clever strategy on the part of the web firm, which isn’t saddled with supporting 200 shops on a dying high street, and so can fight price wars in a bid to boost their market share. If you wanted to.