Poor old HMV - it opened its very first shop in 1921 and now it's looking down the barrel (or speaker trumpet) of what it calls i classic management-speak, "material uncertainties".
No one right now is saying anything about that sounding a little bit like Woolworths, in fact, HMV in the form of its CEO, "I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to lead HMV through a period of significant change in the entertainment industry. During the first half of the year the Group has continued to face a challenging set of market conditions but has made progress on the continued rationalisation of the Group and is now increasingly able to focus on the core UK retail business."
Yes, indeed. Spinny stuff. It also says in its interim report published today
that, "Operationally the UK business has continued to innovate its proposition to provide customers with strong offers and provide suppliers with a return on their continued support."
In terms of game sales specifically, "Like for like sales of games and technology products increased by 6% year over year with the business continuing to benefit from the reduced market presence of GAME Group stores and a continued demand by customers for technology products centred around tablets and headphones."
So, what's the problem? Well, the facts. First-half sales at HMV dropped by 13.5% to £288.6m, while like-for-like sales fell by 10.2%. And here, as the Guardian
reports, comes the biggie:
"Trevor Moore, who joined HMV from the camera chain Jessops, said current market conditions suggested the group would not meet expectations for the year to April. As a result, the terms of its bank loans were not likely to be met in January and April, placing the future of the 238-strong chain under threat."
Bank loans not being met in the this climate is bad, bad news.