HMV has reported UK sales of $804m (£470m) in its first full year since being bought out of administration.
The entertainment retailer has undergone a far-reaching restructure under owner Hilco, which acquired it out of administration in April 2013. The changes have included trimming the store estate, launching apps and opening a new Oxford Street flagship.
HMV’s total group sales for the year to June 30, 2014, were $1.2bn (£700m), including operations in Canada and Ireland.
In the quarter to the end of June, UK like-for-likes increased 9.2% while in-store conversion rates improved from 24.2% to 28.1% as shoppers embraced the reborn retailer. HMV declined to give a profit number.
Despite the rise of downloads and the dominance of the supermarkets and Amazon, HMV chairman Paul McGowan told Retail Week there is a place in the market for a retailer that is at the heart of entertainment.
It plans, for instance, to increase the number of in-store events ten-fold, creating the opportunity to connect with music fans and sell to them at the same time.
“Physical album sales are remaining steady,” McGowan said. “Amazon, Tesco, Asda, and Morrisons all provide a physical offer, but they can’t provide the type of experiences HMV can.”
As it aims to fight back against Amazon and the supermarkets, the retailer will later this summer begin offering shoppers a free digital version of every physical album purchased. Amazon already offers the same proposition.
The move follows last year’s app launches, and a full UK ecommerce launch remains in development. The retailer already has a transactional site in Ireland and is poised to launch in Canada in October.
HMV is also seeking to sponsor more film and music events to raise its profile and it plans to open a further four stores in the UK across the next year, taking its estate to 129.
Retail Week Knowledge Bank estimates that HMV Group generated £742.14m sales from 244 UK stores in the year to April 28, 2012 – its last full year before its collapse.