Entertainment group HMV intends to create partnerships with digital companies as it shifts further away from its traditional business model and repositions itself as a “portable entertainment” specialist.
Speaking as he posted his last set of results as HMV’s chief executive, Simon Fox, who stands down next month, said the retailer aims to build on its technology business, which now accounts for 11% of sales, through tie-ups with suppliers of technology devices such as tablets and digital services.
Fox said: “What you’ll see is us moving into partnerships. It’s about using the huge footfall and brand we’ve got.
“We can introduce our customers to digital partners. There are a number of brands that don’t have a high street presence and we can provide that.”
“The difference is we’re not offering a wide range,” he said. “We’re talking about being dominant in a small number of categories that are about portable entertainment.”
He said that HMV has become a “credible destination” for entertainment devices such as Google’s Nexus tablet and maintained: “I think technology can grow to become our biggest category.”
HMV reported it is on track to return to profit this financial year. The retailer reported a pre-tax loss on continuing operations before exceptionals of £16.2m last year, when sales slipped from £1.1bn to £873.1m and like-for-likes plummeted 12.1%.
Fox said he leaves HMV on a firmer footing than in recent years following a refinancing, the strengthening of relationships with suppliers and the sale of the Hammersmith Apollo. “The business is clearly stable,” he maintained.
Fox will be succeeded as chief executive by former Jessops boss Trevor Moore on September 3, when new finance director Ian Kenyon will also join.