It's been just 18 months since HMV almost fell foul of the administrators and closed for good, but it's enjoying a Lazarus-like resurrection of fortunes at the moment. It's currently pulling in increased record and DVD sales thanks to a greater number of in-store live performances and celebrity appearances, and is now on track to topple even the mighty Amazon when it comes to physical music and DVD sales.
Amazon currently commands 20 per cent of the UK music and DVD sales market, with HMV now closely behind with a 19 per cent share. Sales at HMV stores are up 14 per cent over the past two months, with a 21 per cent increase in vinyl.
Amazon likely won't be losing too much sleep, given how wide its interests now stretch. HMV, by comparison, had to pull back on selling gadgets and games in order to achieve this new focussed approach to DVD and record sales. And while HMV executives argue that the death of physical media after the switch to digital "was never true", you have to wonder how long that will remain a reality. HMV itself knows it needs a digital presence too, launching a revamped app late last year.
It's clawing its way back, and I personally love its new physical-focus, so credit where it's due -- it was all looking very dire for a while there. Here's hoping this iconic brand can survive a little longer, if not eventually thrive once more. [Guardian]