Games bucks retail downturn trend over Christmas

Whilst many across the retail community have been counting the cost of a disappointing Christmas period, the games market has seen yet another bumper festive period on the High Street.

In the week that the retail analyst SPSL stated that many days during the Christmas period retail performance were ‘hugely disappointing’, leading specialist retailer GAME revealed that its year-end profits were set to outstrip forecasts and break the 70 million barrier for the first time.

And it’s not just the specialists – major retail forces including DSGi, HMV, Zavvi and Comet have all seen games sales rocket over Christmas.

In living memory 2007 was the best Christmas sales period for games at DSGi,” said head of international buying for software, PC and console at DSGi David Johnson.

Zavvi enjoyed a 10.8 per cent year-on-year sales growth over Christmas – with games up over 60 per cent.

A strong release schedule, the continued success of next generation hardware and well marketed games made a real difference, we expect more of the same in 2008,” added Zavvi MD Simon Douglas.

Category buyer at Comet Debbie O’Neill said: Games have performed exceptionally well over the Christmas period and surpassed all our expectations.”

HMV head of games Tim Ellis offered: Even allowing for the much-reported supply issues there was enough hardware and brilliant titles to keep most people happy.

Now that so many more people, including female players, are discovering games and gaming, you would think that the sector can only carry on growing.”

And it was a very merry Christmas at PC World, commented senior category manager for games Rene Wright: Games software will continue with good growth on the back of the very strong increase in the hardware installed base this year.”

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