Digital Sales Rise for GameStop in Holiday 2012, While Resales Fall
Game retailer GameStop saw a big surge in digital download sales during the final quarter of 2012, but overall sales dropped during the period with pre-owned sales taking a pretty notable dive.
GameStop reported global sales in the fourth quarter of $2.88 billion, which dropped 4.6 percent as compared to the previous quarter. U.S. sales dropped by 3.5 percent from the previous quarter, while game sales in international markets declined by 6.4 percent.
The retailer took a hit on overall sales, as well as on sales of previously owned titles and even hardware — despite the launch of Nintendo’s Wii-U and the sale of some 320,000 units of the new console. Hardware sales dropped by 2.7 percent during the holidays, and pre-owned sales were down 15.6 percent. GameStop blames the latter on fewer titles released in 2012, resulting in less pre-owned inventory as compared to last year.
If there’s a place where things are looking up, however, it’s with GameStop’s digital sales, which spiked 40 percent during the December quarter. That suggests some very healthy sales figures coming out the PC gaming space and GameStop’s Impulse digital portal.
Despite that success, though, the company is projecting same-store sales to fall another 7 to 9 percent in 2013. One wonders if that’ll mean additional investment in the PC space and in Impulse in general; could GameStop start moving away from the console side of things to amp up its commitment to PC gamers, since they’re the ones who are buying? I guess we’ll see how 2013 goes.
Another big question as it relates to GameStop’s future business ideas is the release of new console hardware. It’s presumable that if Sony and Microsoft announce big new consoles in 2013, it could drive up sales at GameStop stores. It’s tough to say how that could affect the retailer’s commitment to the PC space, which right now, at least in stores, is next to non-existent. If digital sales stay strong, however — who knows.