The industry was rocked by heavy discounting this week, as High Street giants GAME and Gamestation joined independent retailers in buying extra stock from supermarkets.
The latest round of price slashing kicked off at Sainsbury's over the weekend, with the retailer cutting 30 off the price of Xbox 360 and Wii hardware – an offer which meant the 360 was available for under 100. Armies of staff from GAME, Gamestation, CHIPS and numerous independents then swooped to snap up the cut-price consoles.
With 360 and Wii on sale at these prices we allowed our store managers to supplement their stock by buying consoles from their local Sainsbury's,” explained GAME Group CEO Lisa Morgan.
Availability was very inconsistent, but on the whole it was a worthwhile exercise. Our strategy is centred on giving our customers choice, good value and having the best possible availability going into the Christmas period.”
Sainsbury's DVD and games buyer Gurdeep Hunjan hinted that more hardware offers could follow:
We're certainly looking to make a big impact on hardware, and we will continue to back that side of the market moving towards Christmas. Our promotion went really well. It is early days for us, and we are only just testing the market.”
Elsewhere, Tesco, Morrisons and Asda declared war on each other with aggressive promotions on FIFA '09.
Tesco sold the title for under 30 on PS3 and 360, whilst Morrisons offered the PS3 SKU for just 25.
In terms of games, it's certainly shaping up to be the most competitive Christmas ever,” said Asda's head of games Duncan Cross.
We'll continue to offer our customers the best value proposition for new games. We're always keeping an eye on the competition to ensure customers get the best deal, and that won't be changing any time soon.”
A Tesco spokesperson added: The response to our promotion was very encouraging. Now, more than ever, customers are price-led.”