Supermarkets have eclipsed specialists to become Britain’s No.1 games retailers.
The likes of Asda, Tesco, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s have edged past GAME?and Amazon and made more money from games sales than any other retail sector, according to the latest data from Kantar Worldpanel seen by MCV.
The supermarket chains continue to push their games offerings, despite a big drop in sales this year. The majority even held midnight openings for Black Ops II.
The drop in market share for specialists follows a tough 2012 for GAME and HMV, which both shed stores early this year.
“We are in an economic climate where money is tighter than ever. Customers demand the lowest price and this channel has always been focused on delivering this,” Asda’s games boss Craig Thirkell told MCV.
“The switch towards family and younger gamers as well as hardcore crowds naturally plays well to supermarkets.”
But it’s not all down to price, adds Thirkell. “It’s not just the specialists that can create excitement and fun for new launches anymore and with gamers coming out at midnight for the big titles, where better to be than in a warm supermarket topping up on the energy drinks and sweets to get them through that all-night games marathon.”
Despite becoming the No.1 games retail sector, grocers have lost a bit of market share this year. Sainsbury’s was the only retailer to increase its share.
The drop for specialists has also not been as severe as initially feared. The biggest retail sector to lose market share this year has been ‘other multiples,’ which includes the likes of Argos and Dixons.
The fastest growing retail sector for games continues to be the internet. According to Kantar, Amazon is the UK’s No.1 entertainment retailer (factoring in sales of physical music, game and videos, plus digital music sales), well ahead of HMV at No.2 and Tesco at No.3.