Games High Street decline faring better than wider physical entertainment market

Kantar’s latest Entertainment Barometer report paints a picture of decline for physical games retail – although it’s faring better than the wider entertainment market.

The analyst says that sales of physical games fell 3.5 per cent year-on-year for the 12 weeks ending December 20th. However, that compares favourably with the 11.6 per cent decline seen across the total physical UK entertainment market.

There was also good news for physical retail, which Kantar reckons claimed a 68 per cent share of the overall physical entertainment market – that’s up from 62 per cent in 2014.

As previously reported by MCV, Adele’s new album 25 was the only entertainment product able to compete with games’ dominance, noting that it was no doubt helped by the album’s absence from popular streaming services.

Amazon’s share of the entertainment market fell 3.6 per cent to 20.7 per cent. GAME’s entertainment share was up by 1.9 per cent to 11.5 per cent.

Although the games market saw a spike immediately following the PS4 and Xbox One launches in late 2013, it has taken a couple of years for console ownership to become more widespread,” Kantar’s strategic insight director Fiona Keenan said.

It’s really only in the final quarter of 2015 that this has resulted in significant gains for both the market and retailers, as gamers increase their spending. Gifting of these products has also jumped as a result, up by just over 40% on last year.

The high street physical entertainment market has really been able to monopolise on the opportunity provided by new generation products – GAME has hit its highest entertainment market share in five years, while Tesco and Argos have both hit peak fourth quarter shares in the same period.

Even though Xbox One and PS4 are now well established, for those who don’t own a console themselves buying games remains a relatively confusing prospect. GAME and Tesco took 51 per cent of next generation gift sales compared with 46 per cent in the final quarter of 2014, showing that shoppers are keen to get face-to-face advice before they make a purchase. This is a great opportunity for the likes of GAME, which can offer the expert help and advice that online retailers can’t.”

MCV reported earlier this month that the UK software market fell six per cent in 2015. The overall market was down around eight per cent.

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