There’s nothing wrong with independent retailers buying games from supermarkets and selling them at a premium, say UK distributors.
Indies told MCV last month that stocking new games will be extremely difficult when the VAT rise comes into effect next year.
And with some grocers lowering prices to below cost, independent stores have been buying stock from these outlets instead of traditional distribution.
It’s definitely fair for indies to buy from supermarkets,” Creative Distribution’s MD Gareth Dain tells MCV.
Supermarkets have no morale or legal obligation to protect the interests of the smaller business – however unfair that may seem.”
Craig McNicol, UK MD for Koch Media, said that the problem doesn’t look like it’s going away: It is a free market, and of course it does not sound equitable, but the broken element may not be fixable.”
Ideal Software’s head of buying Paul Williams added: How can you blame indies? If they went to the official distributor they would have to pay more than at retail.
However, by buying from supermarkets, indies must realise that they are eroding themselves as their market share will become so small that it will not be missed.”
UPDATE: MCV also contacted Gem about the matter.
I think that independents and multiple retailers alike should be free to do whatever they feel is right for their business," added Gem’s UK general manager Darren Houghton.
"It is not the role of distribution to tell other companies how to run their business.”