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GameStop Testing iOS Device Trade-ins, Continues To Consolidate Stores

GameStop is expanding a test program to buy and sell used devices such as iPods, iPads and iPhones to 20 stores, with a nationwide launch expected before the end of the year.
GameStop is expanding a test program to buy and sell used devices such as iPods, iPads and iPhones to 20 stores. The trade-in program, mentioned by GameStop management yesterday at analyst firm Sterne Agee's Consumer Conference, is expected to bring in margins of close to 50 percent, similar to those for GameStop's used game business. Company president Tony Bartel earlier told Gamasutra in April the company had begun testing tablet trade-ins in five Dallas-area stores, with a nationwide rollout planned for "later this year." Overall, GameStop is making a big push into the tablet gaming space following the March purchase of streaming technology company Spawn Labs. The company is even considering manufacturing and marketing its own game-focused tablet, according to Bartel. At the Sterne Agee conference, GameStop reiterated plans to limit net square footage growth across its retail locations, using customer data to identify and consolidate redundant stores. Much of that customer data comes from the company's Power Up Rewards program, which it hopes to grow from 10 million current members to as many as 15 million by year's end. These loyal customers spend three times as much as non-members, the company said, with 60 to 65 percent paying $14.99 a year for additional membership privileges. Sales of digital content remain a focus for GameStop -- the company highlighted in-stores pre-orders of 50,000 Black Ops Escalation map packs, with 150,000 more sold to walk-in customers just after release. The company also said that it has had success pushing in-store DLC sales alongside used game purchases, a development that could help reduce publisher discontent with the used game market.

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