UK retailers have told MCV they are ‘surprised’ by news that Nintendo has raised the trade cost of the Wii, and are currently evaluating a new street price.
Nintendo Wii’s trade price is set to increase by around £16.50 (approximately £19 including VAT) due to the ‘continuing depreciation of the pound’ – although a similar price rise on Nintendo’s other hardware has yet to materialise.
“We will raise the price of the Wii,” states CHIPS joint MD Don McCabe. “I don’t foresee a problem with the consumer as long as the quality of software continues.
“Chains and supermarkets will probably try and hold the current price for as long as possible, but of course they will have to raise it. They won’t sell consoles at a loss for a sustained period.”
Comet’s Debbie O’Neill added: “The price increase has come as a surprise for us and as you can imagine, not a welcome one. It puts Comet in a difficult position.”
ShopTo.com founder Igor Cipolletta understands Nintendo’s decision, but hopes the rise won’t adversely affect Wii sales. He said: “Shopto.com is currently selling the Wii at £166.37, but with the new price there is no margin for us even at £179.99.
“I hope that end users will end up accepting Nintendo’s decision and carry on buying the machine.”
One area set to suffer the most from the increase is the independent sector – and some long-serving specialists have warned they may have to drop Wii hardware from their range.
“All the big chains will keep the £179.99 price and all the indies are going to look like they are putting the prices up,” said Discover (Stranraer) manager
“I am not sure if I will keep stocking the Wii. It will depend on what our rivals do.”
Hugh Sim of Bolts Electrical of Shetlands added: “I’m stunned they’ve put the price up. Demand is still very high at the moment, but if other retailers keep the Wii at £179.99, then I will be forced to stop stocking the console.”
Other top retailers, including Asda, Sainsbury’s, HMV, Play and Morrisons have told MCV that they are ‘digesting’ the news, and will announce their new pricing plans in the coming weeks.