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UK Retailer Game Group Holiday Sales Down 4.1%

Admitting the challenges of a changing market, UK specialty retailer Game Group on Thursday saw sales down 4.1 percent over the holidays -- it hopes to address emerging business models in the coming months.
UK specialty video game retailer Game Group on Thursday said sales during the five-week holiday period ended January 8 were down 4.1 percent. Like-for-like sales, which compare sales of its retail stores open for more than a year, were down 2.1 percent. Game Group cited "a difficult PC and video games marketplace and adverse weather" during the period, but noted declines have been lessening. Overall, Game Group added that its market share grew over the holiday period as locations stayed open during bad weather, as and pre- and post-Christmas discounts took place. The company said it expects pre-tax profit in the range of £37 million ($58 million) to £39 million ($61 million) for the year to January 31, 2011, which is within current market expectations, Game Group said. While the retailer said it expects a "challenging" market in 2011, Game Group is looking forward to the launch of Nintendo's 3DS handheld, more software for Microsoft's Xbox 360 Kinect sensor and Sony's PlayStation Move, and big software launches on PC and console. The brick-and-mortar Game Group, which has 1,319 stores worldwide, also acknowledged that the "market is changing," as social, mobile, digital and online, and other non-retail business models gain traction. The retailer it will provide an update next month about how it plans to address these changes, and build "a seamless, customer-centred multi-channel service for gamers in the future."

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