Charles Fotheringham


TITLE: Head of DVD

LEADERSHIP: As entertainment specialty retailers HMV’s competitors falter or pull back on DVD in favor of next-generation formats, the U.K.’s leading disc seller is holding its place by staying committed to this generation, which it believes has plenty of life left.

HMV held a 17% share of the U.K. disc market in 2006, according to research firm Screen Digest, but the retailer has been confronted with increased competition from grocers such as Tesco that slash prices on the biggest releases to entice customers.

Rather than simply cut prices, HMV has worked closely with studios and suppliers to create promotional campaigns, plus exclusive packaging and events to drive sales.

Fotheringham says DVD should be an “aspirational” product that people want to buy and collect.

POV: “Price is, clearly, an important part of the overall value equation offered to the customer, but it can’t and shouldn’t be the only element: Customers should want to buy a particular DVD in the first instance because it’s a great film or TV series that also represents excellent value because of its packaging and presentation,” he explains. “Where price comes into the mix is simply that it should not be set at such a level that it becomes a barrier to the purchase being made.”

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