Argos may have thrown in the towel, but other mass-market retailers insist their own used games ventures are fighting fit.
MCVuk.com broke the story that Argos had completely withdrawn from the pre-owned video games market last week.
And critics told MCV last month that mass-market retailers – including the supermarkets – have failed to make an impact in used games. But Asda and Tesco have dismissed the concerns, telling MCV that their customers demand pre-owned.
“I would not read anything into Argos pulling out of pre-owned having any bearing on how the model is performing in the generalist sector,” said Asda’s head of games Andrew Thompson.
“Although pre-owned is a very small part of Asda’s games business, our customers like the fact that during such tough economic times they can trade in to save money and buy more new games.”
Games buyer Mark Burgess affirmed that Tesco was still committed to its used games offering, adding: “Argos pulling out of pre-owned will have no effect on our current plans.” Thompson added that Argos’ trade-in business model wasn’t suited to the second-hand market.
“I thought that the Argos model was very different to the normal trade-in operations in the UK,” he said. “Products that could be traded in were limited in range and the traded-in stock was ultimately sold online.”
Selected Argos stores first began trading in pre-owned titles back in March 2010. The company later rolled this out to all outlets in July 2010, offering store credit when consumers traded in selected titles.
Asda, Tesco and Argos were among the first mass-market retailers to launch pre-owned offerings.