International video games retailer GameStop has reported sales of $2.86bn for the nine weeks ending January 2nd – more or less spot on the $2.85bn it reported in the same period in 2008.
Like-for-like store sales fell by 8.6 per cent in the period. The lower than expected numbers were blamed mainly on shortages of key titles and hardware including the Wii and PS3.
Sales of new games were up by four per cent though this was countered by an eight per cent drop in hardware sales. Pre-owned sales enjoyed a ten per cent year-on-year hike.
Top selling games included Modern Warfare 2, Assassin’s Creed 2 and New Super Mario Bros Wii.
“Despite a kick start to this year's holiday selling season with several major title launches,” GameStop CEO Daniel DeMatteo stated, “sales momentum was impacted in December by economic weakness in all global operating segments, winter storms at peak shopping periods in December, and unexpected shortages of key products such as New Super Mario Bros Wii, Nintendo Wii and Sony's PS3 console.”
CFO Cathy Smith added: “It is important to note that this is still the second highest earnings year in GameStop's history coming off a record fiscal year 2008.”
The retailer added that it expects strong demand for PS3 to drive its 2010 numbers upwards.