The GAME Group, which is the group behind the games specialist retailers GAME and GameStation in the UK, has revealed that boxed game sales fell 18 percent over the Christmas period compared to last year.
Total group sales were down 12.1 per cent and International sales declined 0.9 per cent for the same period, according to figures released to GI.biz
"The negative trends in the PC and videogames market continued over the key Christmas selling period despite strong software releases and a sizeable installed base of hardware,
" said GAME Group Chairman Peter Lewis.
"This, combined with the strong comparative period and the impact of customers shopping later, resulted in like for like sales declines of 13.8 per cent for the Group over the last five weeks. Since Christmas, however, we have seen significant improvement as customers have responded well to our mint and preowned sales offers and the release of new software.
For the 49 weeks ending on January 9th the sales performance across the UK and Ireland were down by 15.1 percent.
GAME has been particularly proud of increased performance in pre-owned games, which effectively cut out the publishers, but Chairman Lewis points out that the year-on-year increases in the pre-owned markets have been offset by creating software bundles for new consoles.
The GAME Group is still doing pretty well overall though, with expected profits for the financial year ending January 31st to be at least £87 million GBP - though that is down from £126.2 million GBP last year.
The reasons for the dip in sales would seem fairly obvious, with Supermarkets taking an increased interest in using games as a loss-leader and the success of digital distribution being huge factors alongside the obvious issue of piracy.
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