They was robbed! All big four supermarkets lost share of the entertainment market in the past three months – and much of the blame lies with Grand Theft Auto.

The grocers’ share of physical video games sales fell 10.9% in the 12 weeks ending 15 March 2015 compared with the same period a year ago, while online retailers grew their share 6.6% and high street stores 4.4% [Kantar Worldpanel].

Across the total video game market, the biggest titles of the quarter were the versions of Grand Theft Auto V released late last year for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The grocers accounted for only a third of sales of the title as customers opted instead for specialist retailers, although supermarkets took a majority (53.3%) of sales for GTA V on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

As a whole, the physical entertainment market – including music, video and games - fell 3.3% year on year, with 1.4 million fewer shoppers. Higher prices and more frequent purchasing have offset some of these losses, and the rate has slowed compared with 2014, when the value of the market dropped 13.1% and 4.7% respectively in the last two quarters.

Among the major retailers, Amazon had the strongest sales growth and recorded its largest ever first-quarter share of 23.1%. Amazon increased sales in all physical entertainment markets despite the total games and video sectors being in decline.

The Kantar Worldpanel data revealed HMV has returned to first place among music retailers on the back of a 12% year-on-year hike in physical music sales. British artists drove the boom, occupying eight of the top 10 album spots and led by Sam Smith and Ed Sheeran.

“HMV has moved ahead of Amazon in physical music sales for the first time since September 2013,” said Kantar Worldpanel strategic insight director Fiona Keenan. “HMV has been successful in attracting shoppers in store that want to browse its extensive range of products before deciding what to buy, which historically was a real area of strength for the high street specialist.

“Spend from consumers browsing for music products in HMV has grown by almost 50% compared to this time last year.”


Kantar Worldpanel Entertainment
  12 w/e 16 Mar 14 12 w/e 15 Mar 15 Percentage point change
Amazon 18.8 23.1 4.3
HMV 17.9 16.6 -1.3
Tesco 15.1 14.7 -0.4
Game 9.5 9.7 0.2
Asda 13 9.4 -3.6
Sainsbury’s 7.7 7.2 -0.5
Argos 2.4 4.3 1.9
Morrisons 2.9 2.3 -0.6
Rakuten 1.9 1.0 -0.9
Other 10.8 11.7 0.9