Games market thaws big freeze fears

The games market has triumphed over the elements and even retail trends, achieving a third week of growth despite heavy snow.

Retail analyst agency BDO released figures that show both High Street and online sales have declined when compared with last year.

The firm said that harsh winter weather kept consumers at home, with delivery difficulties impacting online companies.

But games have defied this over the past two weeks with the market value once again growing, now up to 67.3 million.

Unit sales also rise to 2.6 million – an increase of almost 700,000 since the weather began deteriorating. Key sales drivers included Call of Duty: Black Ops – now back at No.1 in the UK charts – as well as FIFA 11, Gran Turismo 5 and Just Dance 2.

BDO now believes that the High Street will see a further boost across all areas as the snow clears, setting up games retailers for a busy December.

The weather has put people off, but it’s come so early this year that consumers still have time to do their Christmas shopping,” said BDO’s head of retail Don Williams.

This weekend would normally be the big weekend for festive purchases, but most people will wait until the snow has cleared.

Retailers will be nervous, but the fact we’ve had this snowfall at the end of November rather than mid-December means they won’t have to panic discount.”

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