Indie fury at 3DS price war

The owner of a leading independent chain has condemned the ongoing 3DS price war between the big UK games retailers.

Tesco, Toys ‘R’ Us and Amazon are the latest retailers to cut their respective prices of the 3DS to around 197. Amazon originally listed the handheld console at 219.99.

This is lazy retailing,” CHIPS joint MD Don McCabe told MCV.

It comes down to who’s got the biggest balls and who wants to lose the most money. Online retailers are dropping the price to get new customers and Tesco are doing it to get more people into stores.

It’s a problem because the price war leads the customer to believe it’s a 199 machine. That will make retailers such as ourselves less inclined to stock it because we will make less money from it.

If I have to discount the 3DS by 30 just to sell one, then it’s costing me money. There’s no real profit there.”

Most High Street stores including GAME and HMV originally priced the 3DS at 229.99 in January. ShopTo went lower with its limited-time 199.85 offer, before GAME.co.uk lowered its price to 219.99 in late January. Sainsbury’s and Dixons went sub-200 earlier this month before the new low of 197.

John Holley, owner of Jersey-based independent store SeeDee Jons, added:

Online retailers are the biggest players and they’re just spoiling it for everybody.”

The 3DS console launches in the UK on March 25th. Nintendo says it lets retailers set the price of its products.

IS THE PRICE RIGHT?

Here’s a run-down of 3DS offers currently available:

Toys ‘R’ Us – 196.99
Amazon – 197.00
Tesco – 197.00
Asda – 199.00
Dixons – 199.00
ShopTo – 199.85
Zavvi – 199.85
Sainsbury’s – 199.99
Play – 202.00
GAME – 219.99 (online), 229.99 (in-store)
HMV – 219.99
Argos – 219.99
(with 60 worth of gift vouchers and an accessories kit worth 20)

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