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HMV top of the pops again in physical music sales

Entertainment retailer HMV's apparent recovery from the dark days of administration continued in the first quarter of 2015, as the business sold more physical music products than anyone else.

The latest Kantar Worldpanel data for the 12 weeks to 15 March 2015 saw HMV record a 12% year-on-year increase in sales of CDs, vinyl and other music-related items, which has been valued at £9.8 million. This figure was higher than previous number one music retailer Amazon and it drove HMV back to top spot for the first time since September 2013.

Physical music sales have been boosted by the revival of vinyl, which appears to be enjoying something of a renaissance among music fans buoyed by special events such as Record Store Day – which this year took place on Saturday 18 April.

Fiona Keenan, strategic insight director at Kantar Worldpanel, explained: "HMV has been successful in attracting shoppers in-store that want to browse its extensive range of products before deciding what to buy, which historically was a real area of strength for the high street specialist.

"Spend from consumers browsing for music products in HMV has grown by almost 50% compared to this time last year, helping to boost the retailer's share of total browsed spend in the market to 43.4%, making it the standout player. Pre-administration, HMV's share of browsing purchases was regularly over 50%, so this recent resurgence is a positive sign for the retailer's future as it faces increased competition from the online market."

Meanwhile, Kantar reported that the physical entertainment market as a whole – which includes video games – has fallen 3.3%, with 1.4 million fewer shoppers in the market year-on-year during the first quarter. However, higher average prices and more frequent purchasing have apparently offset some of these losses, while the rate of decline has slowed since 2014.

Amazon has the strongest sales growth in the physical video games sector, with the eCommerce pure-play seeing trade rise by 19% year-on-year and market share for the quarter reaching 23.1%. Kantar says there is "ongoing competition between Amazon and HMV" for the largest share of this particular market.

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Kantar Worldpanel