Outgoing HMV boss Simon Fox says there’s finally some momentum behind the entertainment retail giant.
In an interview with MCV, Fox says now is the right time for him to step down from his position – to be replaced by former Jessops boss Trevor Moore – as he has successfully navigated the retailer through one of its most challenging periods in its history.
"We have been through a lot," said Fox.
"We have come out the other end and we are in a completely different place to where we were 12 to 18 months ago. The waters are infinitely smoother, there’s a bit of momentum rather than a hurricane in our face. So that feels like the appropriate moment to hand over to somebody else who can come in to take the business forward for the next five years. We are right at the start of a new five-year planning process. It is a good time for HMV and for me. It is the right time."
And Fox believes Moore will be a good fit for the video games space, despite having little experience of the industry.
"My successor has a lot of energy and I think he will do a terrific job in taking the business forward," he said.
"His experience at Jessops is very relevant to video games. He clearly understands specialist retailing, he understands multi-channel retailing, and Jessops forms very strong relationships with the channel manufacturers. So I would expect Trevor to be very good at building relationships with games publishers."
HMV had almost backed out of games entirely earlier this year, but changed its minds following the near collapse of GAME Group. Instead it has improved its relationships with the industry and is looking to improve its games offering.
"There’s been a real focus on building our games position," Fox added.
"You will see lots of changes in-store. You will see more space and more prominent space, and games publishers have been very supportive. He will pick up a very healthy business and with peak still ahead, one with lots of opportunities.
"We all know the market overall is tough. And we are finding the publishers are really responsive and helpful and are working hard on big plans for peak."
You can hear more from Fox in next week’s issue of MCV.