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HMV suffers 22 per cent retail sales fall

Group sales down 19.4 per cent, HMV Retail sales by 21.8 per cent for Q1

High street store HMV has seen a 21.8 per cent per cent decline in total retail sales, but HMV Group plc's chief executive, Simon Fox, said he was still "optimistic" for the future.

"Trends in HMV Retail were broadly unchanged during the Group's first quarter, with like for like sales decline at 15.1%," said Fox in an official statement before the conference.

"Total HMV Retail sales, including the impact of 29 store closures, were down 21.8%, and including HMV Live, the Group's total sales declined by 19.4%.

Fox made special mention of the year's big game releases as potential sales drivers.

"In games we're looking forward to, amongst others, Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Assassin's Creed: Revelations, Batman: Arkham City and FIFA 2012."

Christmas remains a key time for the chain, and there will be a number of "pop up" stores opening to make the most of the busy shopping period.

"Overall, our plans for the Christmas trading period are on track, and we are focused on providing HMV customers with the very best offers across all of our product categories and live venues."

Fox was also keen to talk about the groups new range of "enhanced technology offer" stores, which have a stronger focus on technology, including headphones and iPod docks, and feature an Apple Store style layout.

In total 150 HMV stores will be refitted in this way. The six trial stores like for like sales of technology have continued at over 100 per cent.

"We're very encouraged by what we've seen in our technology stores," said Fox during a question and answer session.

"The business has been through a very tough time, and the line up of the products looks very good, the technology offer that we've got we feel very confident about it. I'm certainly more optimistic now then I was when we last spoke in May."

The next financial update is scheduled for December.

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Rachel Weber

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Rachel Weber has been with GamesIndustry since 2011 and specialises in news-writing and investigative journalism. She has more than five years of consumer experience, having previously worked for Future Publishing in the UK.

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