Lazaruswatch: Are HMV sorting their desperate selves out?
HMV have had a rotten time of it, failing to keep up with the shifting trends of the youths that made them so wealthy in the first place. However, they think they're turning things around and have said that they will return to profit this year, mainly thanks to the collapse of Game. Commerce is cruel, eh?
That said, the trading update to the City noted that HMV were, like-for-like sales-wise, down 12.9% in the 17 weeks to 28 April and that they'd make a loss of £16m for the financial year just ended. This is the fault of too few blockbuster CD and DVD releases before Christmas, apparently.
The chief executive, Simon Fox, said: "The last year has been a difficult and challenging one for HMV and this will be reflected in our annual results. However, we are confident that the actions we have taken will enable us to significantly improve our profit and cash generation in the year ahead."
HMV have been using their status as the last mainstream presence on the high street for the major music publishers to continue extracting major concessions. Effectively, if HMV went bust, Sony, Universal, EMI and Warner Music Group would be immediately denied one of their only shopwindows after Zavvi and Woolworths kicked the bucket.
With these publishers taking a small claim in the firm, will we see HMV finally turning things around or is it too late? Will Amazon and their ilk kill off the high-street record shop once and for all?