In a canny move that further cements its position as a specialist games retailer, HMV’s new Re/Play initiative will pile further pressure on publishers and rival retailers as the pivotal Christmas sales frenzy begins.
And highly-placed sources within the publishing community aren’t happy.
“Pre-owned cannibalises our catalogue sales without a doubt,” said one top publishing executive.
“You could always rely on the likes of HMV and Zavvi to work with you on new releases and catalogue stock. It’s disappointing that someone else is going down this route.”
HMV’s Re/Play manager Martin Baxter is confident that the new offering can take on the likes of GAME and Gamestation – and win.
“Our suppliers have known for some time about our proposal to move into this area, and we would therefore hope they view it as a part of our growing commitment to games, taking in increased footage, range and marketing focus,” Baxter told MCV.
“We looked at the HMV offer as a standalone proposition, and although there is no doubt GAME and Gamestation are experts in this area, we feel our offer is more tailored to the needs of HMV consumers.
“We came up with a proposition that nobody else has – trade in against all the products that we sell in-store, not just games.”
And HMV could even introduce a pre-owned offering online, added Baxter: “We are concentrating on the in-store launch, but I’m sure we’ll consider online activity when it’s appropriate for us to do so.”
GAME UK and Eire MD Tricia Brennan remains defiant, despite the increased competition, and emphasised the retailer’s pre-owned experience and range:
“Trade-in and pre-owned have been part of the GAME offer for 11 years, and customers tell us they love it because it helps them buy more mint products,” Brennan told MCV.
“We remain focused on giving excellent value on a massive range of pre-owned products, so customers can play more games for less.”