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As the new chief executive of music and book retailer HMV Group, Simon Fox has responsibility for both the HMV and Waterstone's brands. Ten or even five years ago, this would have been a job with fantastic growth opportunities. But in 2006 both brands face dual competitive threats from arguably the most formidable corporate foes a chief executive can face.
On one side are the supermarkets, which by the end of the decade are likely to account for up to 20% of book, CD and DVD sales. The huge economies of scale and slick distribution systems of retailers such as Tesco and Sainsbury's ensure that no one can match them on pricing or availability.
During the 90s it was …