Latest Intelligence on Music and Video

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Type Product title / description Pub Price
Expert View
Expert View

UK retail: cold snap brings hopes of Christmas cheer

John Lewis indicated that sales had surged in the past five weeks, providing hope that Christmas trading may be better than last year. The company's sales last week rose by 5.8 % to GBP62 million against a year ago. While the performance must be encouraging for John Lewis, its rivals must still be hopeful that the Christmas spirit cold weather engenders will drive consumers into the shops.

Published By Datamonitor
22 Nov 2005
CommentWire
CommentWire

Game Group: non-specialist competitors gain ground

The leading independent games retailer Game Group has issued a profit warning as gamers waiting for new consoles to arrive on the market hold off on purchases. With limited scope to diversify into other product areas and a growing number of non-specialist competitors encroaching on its territory, Game needs to exploit the festive season to develop an appeal beyond its core customer base.

Published By Datamonitor
01 Dec 2005
CommentWire
CommentWire

HMV: no longer top dog

HMV has issued a profit warning after both the HMV music chain and its Waterstone's bookstores performed poorly over the festive period. Competition from online retailers and grocers able to promote discounted deals has hurt the retailer's profit margins. Looking ahead, this threat is unlikely to diminish as HMV's cut-price rivals continue to up their offer.

Published By Datamonitor
13 Jan 2006
CommentWire
CommentWire

Music Zone: in tune with the high street

In an increasingly competitive market, Music Zone's 3.5% rise in like-for-like sales for the five weeks to the beginning of January is impressive when compared to larger rivals HMV and Virgin. The chain's low-cost formula has enabled it to compete with grocery retailers and the business still has room to grow.

Published By Datamonitor
16 Jan 2006
CommentWire
CommentWire

WH Smith: making savings but not sales

UK high-street retailer WH Smith reported a 6% fall in underlying sales for the seven weeks to January 21 but improved its margins by 250 basis points. The mixed results are a testament to the company's recovery plan, which has focused on achieving a more profitable product mix. Despite this progress, sales growth remains a challenge.

Published By Datamonitor
25 Jan 2006
CommentWire
CommentWire

Home Entertainment: facing tough choices

Home Entertainment, the operator of Choices Video and DVD stores, has been hit by the rise in the number of fake DVDs flooding into the UK, reporting pre-tax losses of GBP3.1 million. Piracy is not the only problem: unless the company responds to increased competition and improves its brand profile, the prospects look relatively bleak.

Published By Datamonitor
25 Jan 2006
Expert View
Expert View

HMV: from market leader to takeover target

HMV has confirmed that it has received a bid approach from private equity firm Permira, after reporting disappointing Christmas sales. The music & video retailer is having to adapt to a sea change in its core market brought on by growing online and mainstream retail sales, and it is unlikely that Permira would make a quick buck from a selling it on.

Published By Datamonitor
31 Jan 2006
Expert View
Expert View

Digital downloads: Amazon, Google to challenge the big Apple?

Both Amazon and Google are reported to be considering launching music download services. The arrival of these influential players will be a significant step for the sector, whose growth has so far been stunted by the non-compatibility of existing legal download sites. They would also provide a viable alternative to Apple's dominant digital offer.

Published By Datamonitor
17 Feb 2006
CommentWire
CommentWire

Music & Video retail: out of the VAT loop

Authorities on Guernsey have announced that they will prevent British retailers from exploiting a tax loophole that allows DVDs and CDs to be sold free of value-added tax. While the move spells disaster for those retailers who rely on the VAT exemption for their competitive advantage, it could be the salvation of HMV, which by being well established in Guernsey will evade the clampdown.

Published By Datamonitor
02 Mar 2006
CommentWire
CommentWire

Silverscreen: final scene

Silverscreen has appointed Kroll as administrators. Silverscreen, backed by Apax, owns a chain of 65 stores and employs 550 workers. However, the company has suffered from increased competition from internet sales. Silverscreen is the first Apax-backed company to go into administration for at least five years.

Published By Datamonitor
31 Mar 2006

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