Asda targets market leadership

Asda has outlined an ultra-aggressive battleplan in order to further grow its share of the UK games market – which could soon include pre-owned and own brand games.

The grocery giant revealed its plans and ambitions at the Asda MVG (Music, Video, Games) Conference in Leeds last week, to a packed audience of publisher and hardware executives, where it bullishly claimed that it will become the largest non-specialist games retailer in the UK”.

Underlining the growing importance of games to the chain, general manager of music, video and games Fergal Gara stated: While DVD was the cornerstone of our MVG business, games are expected to be there very shortly. Our games business will be bigger than our DVD business within the next six to 12 months.”

Following on from what Asda described as a record year for games, the retailer admitted that it is seriously considering own-brand software, plus a move into the pre-owned space.

Another big question we haven’t yet answered is – should we consider the likes of pre-owned?” said Gara. It has some massive attractions for our customers and boosts the value proposition we have currently.

We are a value retailer, so we might need a pre-owned offer as an entry point for customers.”

On the subject of own-brand software, Asda’s head of games Duncan Cross told MCV: We’ve got to look at own-brand. That’s not an announcement, but it is something we’re considering.”

Additionally, the grocery giant revealed that it is exploring the possibility of digital downloads, saying we need to get into that space”.

These revelations were delivered following a series of topline announcements by the retailer, which included:

* The new gaming store concept will be rolled out to 250 stores by this time next year;

* Asda is also looking to grow game space for family gaming, following an increase in space dedicated to the area of 20 per cent over the last year;

* Hardware has also been a big success for Asda, with 100 per cent growth in accessory sales year-on-year.

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