Pre-owned margins fall at GAME

GAME Group has stated that it suffered a dip in its pre-owned margins in the 26 weeks ending July 30th.

Our pre-owned offer remains the most competitive and widespread on the high street,” chairman Peter Lewis stated. Margins in pre-owned were down by 250 basis points as a result of the value activity we drove on mint products and an increase of hardware in the sales mix.”

Of course, this year has also seen the likes of Tesco, Asda and Argos step up their efforts in the pre-owned market, though it’s difficult to gauge what impact this had had on GAME’s share in the sector.

There were success to be found elsewhere, however, including in the digital console sales sector.

We have made good progress with the brand-enhancing initiatives we outlined in April. One-off discount sales, combined with a series of new release promotions, trade-in deals, pre-owned offers and own-brand product reinforces our position as the leading specialist in the market.

Offering exclusive products and limited editions gives customers a point of difference and generates significant market shares for the Group,” Lewis added. This is continuing in the second half, with products including an exclusive Halo Reach Xbox 360 console, and exclusive virtual weapons in Medal of Honor, which is generating multiple pre-orders.

Due to our leading market position with the sale of Xbox Live cards, we are able to capitalise on the release of digital content such as expansion packs.”

GAME will also be stepping up its loyalty card scheme with a new offer planned to kick off at Gamestation next month.

Our 15m GAME Reward cards have been instrumental to our success and we are expanding our loyalty scheme further,” Lewis explained.

An entirely new programme for Gamestation customers, called the ‘Gamestation Elite’ card, will also be launched in October, offering customers points worth a 2.5 per cent discount on their purchases and trade-ins.”

In addition, staff are to be given additional training tailored toward giving customers specialist advice in-store.

"Stores remain customers’ preferred method of purchasing our products and our outlets offer a wide range of hardware, peripherals, boxed software and digital content backed up by specialist advice," Lewis outlined.

"We are trialling changes to the look and feel of our stores, including more interactive product demonstrations and additional products. The variety and complexity of products coming to market will increase the need for specialist guidance. Our teams have received specific additional training to help them give customers detailed, independent advice about the new technology and games."

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