GameStop reported $1.83 billion in global sales for the nine week period that made up 2019’s holiday shopping season, a 27.5 percent decrease from the same period last year.
As with other year-over-year sales hits the company has reported as of late, GameStop largely attributes the holiday decrease to a pre-next gen lull it says is being felt across the industry, but this particular holiday slide was still below the company’s expectations.
The holiday season was so far below expectations that GameStop has revised its sales outlook for fiscal 2019 as a whole. Previously, it had predicted comparable store sales to see “a decline in the high-teens”; the updated guidance now expects a decline from 19 percent to 21 percent.
“We expected a challenging sales environment for the holiday season as our customers continue to delay purchases ahead of anticipated console launches in late 2020,” reads a statement from GameStop CEO George Sherman. “However, the accelerated decline in new hardware and software sales coming out of black Friday and throughout the month of December was well below our expectations, reflective of overall industry trend.”
Sherman goes on to note that GameStop saw positive growth surrounding the Nintendo Switch, something he says reinforces the company’s belief that new hardware like the coming Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 wil strengthen sales down the line.