This week's MCV letters page presents a potential solution to the age-old problem of rogue retailers breaking street dates – but what's your view?
We want your thoughts on Comet buyer Debbie O'Neill's letter below, and your opinion on how to stop retailers selling early. Mail us here or post in the comments thread below, and we'll print the best responses.
As you are aware, Asda broke the street date on GTA and previously Argos had copies of Halo go through their doors before it was due to go on sale.
Most non specialist gaming retailers do everything possible from a commercial point of view to ensure stock is not sold and street dates are not broken. However inside electrical specialists, supermarkets and other retailers, the staff they employ are very different and their level of understanding on such matters can be quite diverse to that of a typical Gaming specialist store where the focus is completely on one sector of the CE market.
From a head office level, communications are sent out and warnings are made to ensure product does not start selling but all it takes is one member of staff to not realise the importance of the release date for the ball to start rolling. I do not believe any of these 'broken' street dates are deliberate as all have been contained quickly and look like the mistake of a few individual stores rather than a commercial decision to deliberately attempt to steal sales and go early with a release.
Question is, should the onus to go back to vendors to start to sticker their stock with the release date on all new titles? This would stop any accidental street dates being broken and ensure stock went out on the shop floor on the right date. I think this is the most practical win to ensure that accidents stop happening.
It makes an interesting debate as if stock was stickered with the launch date how much would have been sold of these big releases?
I would be interested to know your thoughts and those of other retailers if they feel the same way and that the responsibility not to break street dates should be on the industry as a whole.
Email us here or post in the comments thread below to join the debate...