Christmas sales climb 10% at GameStop

GameStop has defied the odds by posting an impressive increase in sales of new games for the Christmas period – showing up retailers in the UK who failed to do the same.

New game sales were up 9.9 per cent year-on-year for the nine weeks ending December 31st, with the likes of Modern Warfare 3, Skyrim and Assassin’s Creed: Revelations performing strongest.

New hardware sales, on the other hand, tumbled 19.6 per cent year-on-year. Interestingly, the retailer blamed not only the lack of new hardware for the drop but also the fact that as there were no console products low enough price points to stimulate consumer demand as in 2010”.

Pre-owned Christmas game sales were up 3.5 per cent compared to 2010 and seven per cent year-to-date.

Total global sales for the retailer were up slightly at $3.23bn, though comparable store sales fell 0.3 per cent. The US in isolation increased by 0.3 per cent while international sales fell 1.5 per cent.

Digital sales, lead by Call of Duty: Elite subscriptions, were up an impressive 60 per cent.

GameStop’s recent mobile and tablet device trade-in offers were a big success, contributing four per cent of the company’s trade volume. It has also been confirmed that the chain repurchased two million shares over the Christmas period.

"During the holiday, our solid sales performance of new HD console software was offset by weak Wii software sales and hardware sales due to the lack of new hardware offerings versus the 2010 period,” CEO Paul Raines stated.

We were pleased with the performance of our buy-sell-trade business, digital offerings and mobile initiatives.GameStopalso retired the remainder of its long-term debt establishing a debt-free balance sheet as we go into 2012."

GameStop now estimates that comparable store sales for both Q4 and its full year will range from -2 per cent to +1 per cent.

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