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HMV boss pledges bigger commitment to games

Simon Fox, CEO of HMV, has told <i>GamesIndustry.biz</i> that the company plans to focus more on videogames as it prepares to launch its new 'store of the future' initiative.

Simon Fox, CEO of high street retailer HMV, has told GamesIndustry.biz that the company plans to focus more on videogames as it prepares to launch its new 'store of the future' initiative.

"Games will continue to be a key strategic driver in our plans going forward, increasingly taking up a larger share within our overall product mix - which, in turn, will equate to more trading space in-store and an increased share of the overall games market," Fox said.

"We also plan to increase the profile of games within our HMV.co.uk Internet business."

Fox's comments come after HMV unveiled a three-year strategy designed to revitalise the business in the wake of a further deterioration in trading conditions.

As part of this strategy, the company will focus on the growth of its website - with the aim of ensuring that 20 per cent of HMV sales are made online by 2010. There are also plans to introduce a new type of store which will have particular benefits for gamers.

"HMV has been developing a format for the 'store of the future', which gives customers a totally new interactive experience," Fox told GI.biz.

"Based around a refreshment hub, with online access to HMV.co.uk and our proposed social networking site, the new format will offer the facility to download music digitally and to 'pay to play' the latest games on new gaming consoles.

"I believe this has the potential to be a very exciting development, that will encourage more gamers instore and underline our growing credentials as a games specialist."

HMV is developing 'store of the future' formats for 10,000 and 4000 square foot models in two trial stores, and is aiming to launch the initiative early this summer.

The retailer is taking a "cautious view" for the remaining seven weeks of the financial year, despite the forthcoming launch of PlayStation 3. Full-year profits "are expected to be below the current range of market expectations".

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Ellie Gibson

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Ellie spent nearly a decade working at Eurogamer, specialising in hard-hitting executive interviews and nob jokes. These days she does a comedy show and podcast. She pops back now and again to write the odd article and steal our biscuits.

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