GameStop may have been in the news for the wrong reasons, for some Nintendo gamers at least, with its recent antics in matching eBay prices on sought after second-hand games, yet it's easy to forget that it's a powerful presence on the high street. That's particularly the case in North America, though the retail group operates around the world, and while not always a flavour of the month it plays a vital role in maintaining a games specialist bricks and mortar presence.
Like many retailers GameStop has endured challenging times, especially with physical retail sales dropping in the games industry. The proliferation of download gaming options and the transitions to new hardware have all slowed business down, so much so that in the quarter up to 3rd August the company's sales of $1.38 billion were down 11% on the equivalent period last year. The net profit for the period was just $10.5 million, as opposed to $21 million the year before.
Gains were unsurprisinly found in mobile and download sales, trends common in recent times, but software, second-hand and hardware sales all dropped. CEO Paul Raines reiterated that "consumers continue to wait for the launch of the new consoles later this year", while he also stated that the results weren't surprising.
Through two quarters, the year has played out as expected. During this console transition period, our financial results have been supported by the continued growth of our emerging businesses.
Naturally there's a focus on the PS4 and Xbox One, but hopefully the Wii U and its software lineup will also have a big role to play this Holiday season. It's not just an important period for Nintendo and its rivals, but also retailers that are equally hoping to bounce back.