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Record sales up in January as HMV collapse rallies sales

By | Published on Thursday 31 January 2013


Just ask 6music, there’s nothing like a very visible axe hanging over your head to rally music fans. Record sales for January are up 11.6% on 2011, constituting the best start to a year for the UK record industry for at least three years.

It’s widely assumed that HMV’s high profile administration has had an tangible impact on record sales in a traditionally quiet month – whether that be shoppers attracted by the massive sale the flagging retailer launched just before going into administration, or consumers rushing to spend their HMV vouchers (once administrators started accepting them again), or simply people keen to show their support for their local record shop, now that the last big national entertainment retail firm is fighting for survival.

Commenting on the figures, compiled by the Official Charts Company and published by the Entertainment Retailers Association yesterday, the boss of the retail trade body, Kim Bayley, told CMU: “This is an extremely positive result and a great start to the year. It certainly demonstrates that there is far more robust demand for music than is often assumed. There has been a significant public reaction to the threat to HMV. Stores have been inundated with customers concerned that they may lose their local store and this appears to have translated into sales”.

It’s worth noting these figures include digital as well as physical revenues, and the now customary post-Christmas rush of download sales instigated by the acquisition of new digital devices over the festive period will also have had an impact. Though ERA says that physical has performed particularly well in the last fortnight since HMV’s administration was confirmed.

The battle to save HMV continues, with restructuring firm Hilco still expected to acquire the retailer’s brand and up to half its stores, with other shop units sold off to fashion retailers and supermarkets.

Meanwhile celebrity businessman Theo Paphitis, from ‘Dragons Den’, has told the Mail he is talking to HMV’s administrators about acquiring some of the companym’s stores for his Ryman and Robert Dyas chains. He also told the tab that he believes the HMV brand is worth having, and that he has considered bidding for it, though he reckons a firm with entertainment retail experience is more likely to secure that part of the pie. AKA Hilco.