Entertainment giant boosts DVD share in face of supermarket competition
HMV is powering ahead of rival high street DVD specialists by increasing its share of the market in the face of fierce supermarket competition.

HMV's DVD share increased by 1.5 percentage points to 19.8 per cent last year, compared with 2003, according to figures released by the British Video Association and TNS. However, Virgin Megastores, Woolworths and WHSmith slipped back.

HMV Europe product director Steve Gallant said: 'The market has levelled off and become increasingly more competitive. To grow our market share in that environment is testament to the changes we have made to consistently improve our offer.'

He said HMV regularly promotes genres, such as world cinema, in focused marketing campaigns and works with suppliers to provide exclusive offers.

Gallant said the 30,000-strong DVD offer at its Oxford Street flagship - more than 16,000 sq ft (1,485 sq m) - boasts the 'largest range anywhere in the world'.

Of the other specialists, Virgin fell 1.1 percentage points to 5.8 per cent market share, Woolworths fell 0.6 percentage points to 12.5 per cent and WHSmith fell 1.5 percentage points to 5.4 per cent. Silverscreen's share stands at 1.4 per cent, from a standing start in 2003.

Virgin Megastores head of DVDs Markus Bhatia disputed the figures and said like-for-likes grew during the period. Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury's all showed strong gains.

Separately, Asda was expected to raise the stakes in the supermarkets' online music price war as Retail Week went to press. The grocer is to cut the price of chart CDs from£8.97 to£7.47 on its Jersey-based entertainment site, launched last week.