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Retail

Games growth over 20 per cent at HMV

Fri 23 Jan 2009 2:13pm GMT / 9:13am EST / 6:13am PST
Retail

Software gains up compared to other entertainment, but some top titles need discount

HMV has revealed that sales of videogame products grew over 20 per cent in December, well ahead of other entertainment formats.

Last week, results showed the entertainment retailer saw like-for-like sales growth of 3 per cent across the entire business.

"The growth in Games was very strong in December, and helped to maintain the longer-term trend," revealed Jonathan Hayes, commercial manager for games at HMV, speaking exclusively to GamesIndustry.biz

"Games enjoyed significant 20 per cent plus double-digit like-for-like growth. This was well ahead of other entertainment formats within the business, such as CD and DVD."

Guitar Hero: World Tour, Call of Duty: World at War, FIFA 09, Wii Fit and Mario Kart Wii were the stand-out software titles, and hardware from Nintendo also performed well, even when compared to the stellar sales of consoles the previous year.

"Hardware sales were also very strong, particularly on Wii and DS, with growth on both these platforms even more impressive considering they were performing against a really strong Christmas in 2007," said Hayes.

"Microsoft also really upped their game on Xbox 360 this year, with great advertising that fed into strong sales, whilst Sony offered a good entertainment offer on PlayStation 3 with Blu-ray and games hardware deals. So performance was great across the board."

Hayes did note that a number of full-priced titles needed discounting in order to stimulate sales and meet expectations.

"Whilst there were some great successes, there were also quite a few titles this year that perhaps didn't achieve the full price sales numbers that their quality would have delivered in any other year.

"We saw a significant uplift in sales on such titles as Far Cry 2, Fallout 3, Mirror's Edge and Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 when they were price-promoted for the Christmas run in," he detailed.

And following the launch of the company's second hand offering, Hayes said HMV intends to continue to push pre-owned sales and educate customers to its unique in-store deals. As well as using credit to buy new games, it can also be used on other products in stores, as well as discount on tickets for gigs in venues that HMV co-owns.

"Re-Play has enjoyed a successful launch - operationally and in terms of customer engagement, and has delivered on all our initial expectations," offered Hayes.

"We'll continue to roll out and develop the proposition through 2009, and we'll be looking to make even more customers aware that they can trade in their games and use the credit to buy any product in our stores."

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