Shelf Life: The Game Place

The Game Place’s Steven Osborne on why his store’s website is important to the business – despite few people using it – and what he thinks about offering digital game codes in store.

How has business been for you recently?

There have been some very flat days and very loud days. Digital sales are going very well.

Obviously new releases have been well received – customers are after new games for PS4 and Xbox One. They’re not liking the fact they have to wait for the big releases to come out.

How have you been coping during these quieter periods?

We’ve just carried on with what we have been doing: having good trade-in prices and second hand games. We’re used to quiet spells and we’re used to busy spells.

We have put some time and effort into a new website which is a work in progress. We’re trying to get a bit of an online presence, but most of our customers do prefer an in-store experience.

What proportion of your revenue comes from online?

Virtually zero. We have two websites, one of which has just gone live and the other which has been online for a while, but there have only been a couple of sales.

In that case, why bother with online retail?

It’s important to be online and have a presence and a domain name. What we tend to find is that we get a reasonable number of hits each day but that doesn’t convert into transacations, but what we do get is enquiries from customers who have seen products online. It provides an advertising opportunity.

What kind of digital stock do you have?

We stock the Sony DLCSoft codes and we have Nintendo codes coming in in the next couple of weeks. We also stock ePay’s Xbox and Steam vouchers. It’s very good to have them in store without having to pay for them up front.

Is there much demand for Nintendo cards?

Not really, no. We used to stock Nintendo cards through ePay, but what we are getting in the next few weeks is a Nintendo version of the DLCSoft system used by PlayStation – full downloadable games available for purchase in store.

This system hasn’t been available to retailers yet, as far as I am aware. It’s a good addition to the business.

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