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GameStop goes big on mobile with new business unit, BuyMyTronics acquisition

GameStop has big plans to expand its mobile presence, starting with a new business unit devoted to the category, and its acquisition of used electronics online shop BuyMyTronics.com.
GameStop has big plans to expand its mobile presence, starting with a new business unit devoted to the category, and its acquisition of used electronics online shop BuyMyTronics.com. The new division will build on GameStop's existing program for iOS and Android device trade-ins/resale launched last year, and is expected to grow mobile sales to $150-$160 million by the end of the year, and $550-$600 million by 2014 for the retail chain. GameStop intends to reach those goals by rolling out its mobile program to more shops. It already sells Android devices in hundreds of stores and iDevices at nearly 1,200 stores, and it expects to sell iOS smartphones, tablets, and media players in more than 2,000 locations before the end of 2012. The retail chain says it's now accepting trade-ins for iOS devices at all U.S. stores, and that its re-sale of those electronics have accounted for 7 percent of its trade-in sales in 2012 so far -- an increase from 4 percent during the holiday. It is also looking into more opportunities to grow the business beyond its brick and mortar operations. "We see a need to add technology resources to this emerging category," says CEO Paul Raines. "[We've instructed our] GameStop Digital Ventures unit to research acquisition targets." GameStop has already made one purchase: BuyMyTronics.com, a Denver-based site specializing in buying and selling used electronics. GameStop says this acquisition will bring technology and category expansion to increase its capacity in the mobile space. "Most of the [mobile sales] industry today operates as websites, peer-to-peer marketplaces, or white label services in big box retailers," says Raines, pointing out an advantage GameStop has over competitors that do not have an established buy-sell-trade system set up. He adds, "Most players in this space have little or no refurbishment capacity, while GameStop has a high-tech, 200,000 square foot refurbishment facility." The Grapevine, Texas facility, which employs 1,700, was significantly expanded two years ago with GameStop's electronics plans in mind.

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