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HMV sales up, also in partnership talks with club firm which is also suing their live music arm

By | Published on Friday 15 January 2010

Sales in HMV record shops were up 13.4% year on year in the run up to Christmas, which you’d bloody well hope so, given that a year earlier both Zavvi and Woolies were still in business (albeit in closing down sale mode), whereas this year the little dog was the only music shop left on most high streets.

The retailer says that its so called pop-up stores, where they set up temporary shops just for the Christmas period in towns where they don’t normally have a presence, were also a big success and helped ensure the sales boost. So that’s all coolio.

Unfortunately the retailer’s book chain Waterstones and its operations in Canada, Hong Kong and Singapore all saw revenues fall, so overall the HMV Group’s retail operations won’t show quite the uplift achieved in the main HMV UK chain.

In other HMV news, the busily diversifying retailer is reportedly looking into moving into the clubbing sector through a partnership with nightclub owners Luminar. Although initially a marketing partnership, the Times speculates that HMV might look to acquire Luminar in the same way it is currently trying to buy another of its partners in the live entertainment space, the MAMA Group.

The HMV tie up with Luminar comes despite a legal dispute between the clubbing company and the bit of MAMA in which the retail firm already has a 50% stake – the Mean Fiddler venue network. Luminar claim that MAMA have broken an agreement struck when the live music firm bought an Edinburgh venue off them – what is now the Scottish capital’s HMV Picturehouse.

The clubbing people say MAMA agreed to not compete with Luminar’s other Edinburgh hang out, Lava Ignite, when they got control of the Picturehouse venue, but that they have since staged non live music events there, ie moving into Lava Ignite’s territory. Luminar’s original breach of contract lawsuit against MAMA failed in court, but that ruling has just been overturned, so the legal dispute continues.