High Street loses ground to supermarkets

Watch out GAME and HMV: supermarkets and online retailers are taking a bigger slice of the UK games software market.

In fact, when combined online retail and grocers are now bigger games retailers than specialists. Although, of course, the specialists are online retailers, too.

According to GfK Chart-Track data published by ERA, specialists, generalists and indies accounted for 48.4 per cent of the UK games software market last year, a drop of 7.6 per cent year-on-year. Market share in terms of value has also fallen 7.3 per cent to a 50.2 per cent share.

In contrast, supermarkets have increased their market share by 3.3 per cent in volume and 3.6 per cent in value. Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and the rest now account for over a quarter of the UK games software market.

It’s equally good news for online firms. The sector’s volume market share reached 24.1 per cent (a 5.3 per cent year-on-year increase) and its value market share hit 22.7 per cent (a 3.7 per cent jump).

Despite the supermarkets’ success, their share of the games market is still much lower than their share of the music and DVD sector.

There are now more supermarkets stocking games than ever before, while specialists and multiples selling games are on the decline. When you combine supermarket growth with specialist shrink, in total there were ten fewer stores selling games last year than in 2009.

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