Music and video retailer HMV Group, which includes HMV entertainment stores and the Waterstones bookseller, is moving towards becoming an online retailer to rival Apple.

The HMV chain has been hit by the popularity of Apple's iTunes Store and has been moving towards becoming an online music and video retailer. Its HMV.com downloads and streaming web service went live this year and in its most recent trading statement HMV chief executive Simon Fox was confident of the group's abilities to perform well online over Christmas and into next year. "Our stores and websites are very well placed for Christmas and we are confident our customers will receive great service and product availability, however they choose to shop," he said.

Fox shrugged off the demise of high street store and entertainment wholesale provider Woolworths and believes HMV will benefit in the medium term. The Waterstones bookshop chain became the exclusive online source for e-books compatible with the Sony Reader, which was launched in the UK this year.

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