Game Retailers GameStop And GAME Receive Boost in the market.
With the help of next-gen consoles, retailers GameStop and GAME are on the right track and trending upwards. GameStop. according to the NPD group, has seen a spike in sales due to the fact there is new hardware on the market.
The sales of new hardware, software, and accessories sold at quite a pace. Sales spiked up to 52% compared to last year at this same time. Revenue totaled $586 million dollars and most of that was led by the new hardware in the market with the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and even Nintendo’s Wii U thanks in large part to Mario Kart 8 recently coming out and moving Wii U’s.
Shares went from $2.57 to $40.29 making it the second-best performer in the S&P 500 this past Tuesday.
That was for GameStop, but they weren’t the only video game retail store to show signs of life. The UK retailer, GAME, has slowly, but surely getting off the mat and dusting itself off after a rocky couple of years, but we’ll get to that a little bit later. First let’s talk about an interesting story involving GAME and a very, very loyal customer.
GAME ‘retires’ the account of its most loyal customer
In every sport, it’s customary for a team to retire a player’s jersey or number if that player performed at a high level for that team for a long time. In other aspects of life that kind of thing isn’t normally celebrated nor recognized. Well, that’s going to change for one family.
In an unprecedented move, the UK video game retail store GAME retired the account of its most loyal customer. Dr. Karen Wolstencroft and her family now have In addition, Dr. Wolstencroft will also receive £100 worth of Virtual Loyalty Shares.
Dr. Wolstencroft went on to talk about how gaming is a big part of her and her family’s life.
“I’m a mum of four and gaming is a big part of our family downtime together. Between work, school and sport we all have busy lives and gaming is our favourite way to relax. I’ve lost count of the number of titles that we’ve purchased over the years but when GAME got in touch and told me that we are their most loyal and passionate customers, I was delighted! It was completely unexpected and we can’t wait to receive the latest upcoming titles on the house!
That must have been one heck of a call. Can you imagine getting all the latest games for the next ten years for free? That’s one heck of a deal right there. Dr. Wolstencroft also went on to talk about how her and her family play everything from “FIFA to Just Dance” but her favorite game is Tomb Raider.
“My absolute favourite game is Tomb Raider- I’ve played every edition since it first launched and I’ve loved them all! But it doesn’t stop there, we play everything from FIFA to Just Dance, either separately or as a family. That’s the great thing about gaming, it really brings us all together and you can escape into a game just like you can a good book!”
Dr. Wolstencroft isn’t the only one being rewarded though. Now, while nobody else is getting free games for the next ten years, GAME also announced that it intends to issue Virtual Loyalty Shares with a value of £2m to be distributed among 20,000 of its most loyal customers.
The cost of the £2m customer reward scheme has been funded by GAME’s major shareholders.
Ailsa McKnight, Marketing Director for GAME said:
“We are celebrating our success and this is a unique way to thank Karen and her family, our most loyal customers – plus the 19,999 others who share our passion for gaming.”
Previous Administration and retail issues.
As I mentioned earlier, it hasn’t all been roses for the retailer GAME recently. On March 26th 2012, GAME hit rock bottom as it entered administration. That resulted in 277 GAME stores across UK to close down and roughly over 2,000 people lost their job. A big reason why GAME didn’t fold completely and go the way of so many brick and mortar stores is GAME put up a fight and adopted an online modeling system to combat and compete with other online retailers.
All this happened suddenly, to an extent, with the rise in popularity of the online market place. When you go back to 1990 it was founded by the Rhino Group and with the help of mergers in 1993 the total number of stores increased to 77 stores. At its peak there were a total of 609 GAME stores as the GAME brand continued to buy out stores in the mid-2000’s across the UK.
As of 2013, GAME has stabilized and has 328 stores across the UK. And as of Tuesday, GAME is doing pretty darn well thanks in large part to the hardware sales, just like GameStop in the U.S.
Now, whether not GAME can sustain or have continued success in the future is a different story. It’s not a GAME problem, but a retail problem as a whole. Everything is becoming more and more available on a digital front. But, for now, the brick and mortar video game specialty retail stores such as GameStop and GAME are having success to this point and it’s worth noting and celebrating.