Switch shipments selling out same day - GameStop

Specialty retailer can't keep console stocked nearly two months after launch

Almost two months after launch, the Nintendo Switch remains a rare find on store shelves. GameStop is still seeing same-day sellouts on each new shipment of the system, an exec with the specialty retailer told Forbes.

"It's exceeding our expectations," GameStop senior director of merchandising Eric Bright told the site. "We knew it would be a high-demand product, but our Switch allocations are selling out not in days, but in hours...the demand is so high that consumers have to react quickly to be able to get their hands on them."

Nintendo reportedly began ramping up its Switch production shortly after the system's March 3 launch, but has so far struggled to meet demand. GameStop has been particularly bullish on its potential, with Bright saying that it "could possibly eclipse the Wii" (which sold 101 million systems), and GameStop COO Tony Bartel cautioning investors that the Switch could be in short supply until at least 2018.

Last weekend's launch of the critically acclaimed Mario Kart 8 Deluxe helped the system maintain its momentum and was the first UK physical chart-topper for Nintendo since 2011. Looking ahead, the next big releases for the system would appear to be Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition on May 11, and the original Nintendo fighting game ARMS, due out June 16.

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Latest comments (6)

Jeff Kleist Writer, Marketing, Licensing 9 months ago
They get them rarely, have a waiting list, and get three at a go. None of this is surprising

Retailers need to tell Nintendo that they're sick of absorbing angry customers for their games, and with those billions in the bank the fanboys are so proud of, they can get a reliable supply chain like Microsoft and Sony. On their launches. Sony was reliably delivering half a dozen or more PS4 to stores several times a week at this point, and given that the Switch is following the usual Nintendo patterns there is nothing surprising here.

They've either had 30 years of incompetent manufacturing directors, or they're shorting.

GameStop needs wins for its stockholders, that's why they're pushing this so hard. They had a bad Christmas, they've got at least 25-30% more stores than they really can support (my local mall has two in it, a five minute walk apart in the original Electronics Boutique slot (they started as a kiosk out front of it), and in an old Babbages). There's 3 within 10 minutes (with traffic) and five in fifteen. Gamestop, like them or not is an important outlet, and just shifting their categories isn't going to out them back in the black.
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Christopher Dring Publisher, GamesIndustry.biz9 months ago
'Back in the black'... GameStop isn't in the red, despite disappointing results.
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.9 months ago
Jeff, they sold 2.7 million in the first month. That's not 3 units per shipment. Do the math. You also need to get past the artificial scarcity line too. You don't air ship units at $45 each if you are trying to run an artificial scarcity demand campaign.
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Jeff Kleist Writer, Marketing, Licensing 9 months ago
Back in the profitability zone they desire. I chose words poorly.

Nintendo shirts, it's been their MO for thirty years. Anyone who denies this is blind to reality. Air shipping is standard procedure at Sony and Microsoft and has been for at least a decade. . Why is this news? Because as usual Nintendo gets a bye and a pat on the back for discovering 2005. Nintendo simply underestimated their ratios is the only thing that didn't go according to plan.

Thry artificially shorted back in the NES days, They shorted standalone Wiimotes but had piles packed in with a game that added $20 to the price. They had the same kinds of volume with WiiU

Sound familiar? Nintendo fanboys are like clockwork, and so are Nintendo's shenanigans.
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.9 months ago
Jeff, you missed the point. Again.

First, Nintendo didn't just now discover air shipping. They've been doing it when needed for quite along time.

Second, Sony and MS do not continually air ship either. They, like Nintendo, air ship when they have enough production capacity to match demand capacity during peak periods. But you do not air ship product when you are running a scarce demand campaign because that wholly negates the purpose (and money saved).

Finally, 2.74 million units, Jeff. Why do you keep ignoring this figure? Are saying they intentionally held back distribution to generate artificial demand while simultaneously distributing more than ever in the company's history? Which is it, Jeff? Did they stifle production to inflate demand or did they manage to ship 2.74 million units in one month and still sold out?

As for your link, that happens to all consoles that sell out. It's called scalping.
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Keldon Alleyne Strategic keyboard basher, Avasopht Ltd9 months ago
@Jeff: nobody expected this much demand for the Switch. Not GameStop. Not Nintendo. Not Sony. Not Patcher. I know I didn't.

Note: Switch has sold more in its first month than the Wii-U did in its first year (April till end of March).

It would be odd if Nintendo had expected to sell that much so there doesn't need to be "shenanigans".

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Keldon Alleyne on 2nd May 2017 5:29pm

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