hmv Canada Boasts Outstanding Sales Results for its 2012 Holiday Trading Season

Jan 08, 2013, 09:00 ET from HMV Canada Inc.

With same stores sales up 1.4% over the 2011 holiday season, hmv Canada surpasses 2012 $65 million holiday sales forecast and delivers full-year sales of more than $270 million

TORONTO, Jan. 8, 2013 /CNW/ - As Canadians close the books on a season of festive celebrations with family and friends, hmv Canada, the country's premiere retail destination for music and entertainment, celebrated today a successful holiday campaign with sales surpassing $65 million over the festive period, ensuring that hmv Canada achieved more than $270 million in sales for 2012.

"Our primary focus this holiday season was on delivering music and entertainment products in the formats that were best suited to our customers' needs, ensuring that we gave them what they wanted," said Nick Williams, President and CEO, hmv Canada.  "This meant creating an in-store offering to fulfill the strong demand for physical music and entertainment products, giving Canadians unparalleled access to music in the online space and offering our newer categories of Gift and Collectibles, Merchandise and Headphones."

As core CD and DVD sales remained broadly in line with 2012 forecasts, new and emerging categories such as Gift and Collectibles achieved a growth of 49%.  Within this segment, T-shirts and seasonal merchandise achieved a growth of 29% and 33%, respectively.  Headphones were also a key holiday gifting item with more than 50,000 units sold delivering $1.6 million in sales. Additionally, any Christmas gift featuring One Direction turned to gold, with more than 71,000 units sold, while Star Wars, Dr. Who and The Beatles -themed Christmas lights were also popular pick-ups among consumers.  Finally, apparel from The Big Bang Theory and Sons of Anarchy quickly became hot holiday favorites.

New releases from Bruno Mars and Rihanna combined with top sellers such as Michael Bublé's Christmas, Pink, and Mumford & Sons to collectively gross a total of $1 million in sales from more than 70,000 units.  In films, The Dark Knight Rises, Ted, The Bourne Legacy, Expendables II and Men in Black 3, were top draws, grossing a total of $3 million in sales from more than 130,000 units.

In addition, to augment its in-store offering, hmv Canada launched The Vault, its new digital subscription based streaming service and digital download store.  Consumers can sign up for a free two-week trial of The Vault by visiting www.inmyvault.com.

Williams continued:  "The Canadian consumer still wants CDs and DVDs and expects us to deliver them while adding value to their music experience.  We also know that our consumers are counting on us to enhance their music experience in the online space, which is why we launched The Vault this holiday season.  This combined retail and online offering is what will drive our business forward in 2013 and enable us to maintain our position as Canada's most trusted music and entertainment retailer."

The holiday season was also an exciting time for Purehmv, the company's loyalty rewards program, with memberships sold increasing 38% compared to the same period in 2011. Additionally new members added in 2012 increased by 8% compared to 2011.

Paul McGowan, CEO of Hilco UK and Chairman of hmv Canada, echoed William's words.  "From the start, we saw a lot of promise in the business at hmv Canada and are delighted to see the business performing so strongly 18 months after our initial investment.  These results, combined with the structural advantages of Canada's retail market that Europe and the U.S. do not have, prove that, by working with all stakeholders - our staff, suppliers, and landlords - and focusing on providing an excellent shopping experience, specialty retailers can thrive in the entertainment sector."

About hmv Canada

hmv Canada's first store opened in 1986, from which it has grown to become a Canadian entertainment market leader with 113 stores from Newfoundland to British Columbia, including flagship locations in Toronto, Edmonton, and Montreal. hmv Canada is an innovator in its market, launching in 2009 hmvdigital.ca its digital music store, in 2010, the hmv Pure customer rewards program, which has attracted over 1.2 million paid cardholders, and in 2012 The Vault music streaming service, giving users access to millions of tracks to stream on a personal computer or mobile device.  hmv has been named Canadian Music Retailer of the Year for the past 20 years, and has also been recognized as the Canadian Entertainment Network DVD Retailer of the Year. In July 2011, Hilco acquired hmv Canada from the UK's HMV Group plc.

SOURCE HMV Canada Inc.