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Could Tesco swoop for GAME?

by Lisa Foster
The UK’s largest supermarket group has become a serious contender in the games sector over the past 18 months, but there is more to come. Some 583 of its outlets are set to stock games by the end of May.

“We’ve had a huge amount of success driving the games category forward over the past year,” said Tesco’s buying manager for games Simon Boyd.

“This culminated in strong Christmas sales, where despite the shortages we were able to grow the business rapidly. This has led to Tesco making a substantial commitment to new space for next year, which will allow us to grow our presence in the market on both new and existing formats.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for publishers to grow the games market by reaching new customers who may not have had the opportunity to purchase games before on a weekly basis.”

The supermarket chain has also promised a full-on marketing campaign to back games, including Agripra lorry advertising and in-store TV as it looks to further drive its games business forward this year.

“We are really pleased with the results of the integrated marketing campaigns we carried out in the run-up to Christmas. We analysed the effects of this approach and will be looking at even more innovative ways to drive the category forward next year.”

Meanwhile, a number of Tesco watchers and various City pundits have started suggesting that the retailer’s ambitions within interactive entertainment could even see the grocery giant make a surprise swoop for a specialist entertainment retailer such as the GAME Group.

Tesco earlier this year revealed that it was looking at establishing a dedicated non-food High Street presence. GAME’s 400-store outfit, which stocks DVDs as well as games, could be a good fit.

Neither Tesco nor GAME were prepared to comment on the speculation.

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