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November 2, 2015

High street retailers fight back against digital giants

News: But Black Friday is likely to give online retailers a boost

By Charlotte Henry

Sales of physical entertainment on the high street grew in the last quarter, data from Kantar Worldpanel shows.

In the 12 weeks up to the 27th September, high street names such as hmv, Game and Argos all increased their year-on-year share of spending on physical videos, games and music, with hmv the strongest performer.

68.4% of all physical entertainment spend was via the high street, an increase from 64.6% the year before.

Spend on Amazon year-on-year was down 1.2%, and down 0.7% on Play/Raukuten, while it was up 1.3% for hmv, 1.1% for GAME, and 1% for Argos.

Video games were a particularly help to the high street, up 7%, despite an 8% drop in the sector overall.

With the shopping bonanza of Black Friday fast approaching, Kantar Wordlpanel belives digital retailers are likely to see a boost. Fiona Keenan, its strategic insight director said: "The week of deals leading up to Black Friday is typically the biggest of the year for both video and games, and given Amazon’s significant focus on the campaign we’d expect it to come out on top again.

Mobile sales also help online retailers. Keenan said: "While online is losing share at the expense of the high street, the convenience factor is still incredibly appealing to consumers who are simplifying the process further by opting to shop directly through their smartphones. Mobile purchases accounted for almost 10% of online physical entertainment sales this quarter, up 23% on this time last year. With over 37 million people owning a smartphone, this is a significant opportunity for retailers to tap into."

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Overall music was the best performer in physical media, despite falling 4% overall.

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