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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 January 2007, 12:29 GMT
HMV drops official singles chart
Nelly Furtado
Nelly Furtado's Maneater re-entered the top 40 through downloads
HMV is pulling the official UK singles chart from its stores after more than 40 years, saying it is no longer relevant to the way it sells music.

Chart rules were changed last week, allowing downloads to be counted even if a single was not available in shops.

Sunday's top 40 featured half-a-dozen such singles, including Snow Patrol's Chasing Cars which went in at nine.

HMV says it is "not against the change" but will use its own chart from now on to avoid having gaps in its displays.

The high street chain had supported the national singles chart since the 1960s and was one of the last major retailers to display the top 40 in-store.

'Not appropriate'

As part of the Entertainment Retailers' Association (Era), HMV would have agreed to the new rules before they were introduced.

"Whilst we signed up to a change," said HMV spokesman Genarro Castaldo, "it was always on the understanding that retailers would be free to do what was most practical in stores."

JoJo's single could not have charted under the old rules
"The new chart is not appropriate for the purpose of merchandising singles".

Era secretary general Kim Bayley said "most retailers" will follow HMV's lead, but argues that singles will not die out as a physical format.

"In some areas, they're still important," she said.

"The X Factor single is selling in big numbers in stores, and dance music still has a heavy element of vinyl sales."

The record industry hopes the revamped chart will revitalise interest in the top 40 by reflecting what people are buying, rather than what is available in shops.

It is also thought the pattern of singles slowly climbing up the charts will return.

US singer JoJo was the first artist to benefit from this effect, with her single entering Sunday's chart a week before it would have been eligible under the previous rules.

Too Little Too Late made its debut at number 22 and is expected to rise into the top 20 this week.

Several deleted singles also returned to the chart on Sunday, with Snow Patrol re-appearing in the top 10 nine weeks after their single disappeared from the charts.

Nelly Furtado, The Automatic and Gnarls Barkley also had re-entries with songs first released more than six months ago.

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