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Books-A-Million enters videogames retail market

US store chain "excited" by move, but coy on details - as pre-owned products reported

North American retail chain Books-A-Million has "completed preparations" to enter the videogames space in its current financial quarter, the company has revealed - although precise details on how that will manifest itself remain unclear, and reports indicate that it will focus on the pre-owned market only.

The company, which operates over 200 stores in the US, reported a tough business climate for its most recent quarter - ended October 30 - with a sales decline of 5.5 per cent year-on-year.

However, it reported stronger activity in its lower-cost products, likely a motivating factor in any decision to dip into the second-hand games sector.

"We continue to face a difficult sales environment during the period, with tough comparisons to last year's best-seller line-up and price-conscious customers buying fewer hard cover books," said CEO and president Terry Andersen in a conference call yesterday.

"We did, however, continue to see solid growth in our bargain book and gift departments during the period and we've completed preparations to launch several product offerings during the fourth quarter" - one of those offerings being videogames.

"We're particularly excited about our new product offering... and the addition of videogaming products in our entertainment and media department," he later added.

Additional detail hasn't been forthcoming, however, and Gamasutra reports that some stores contacted were selling used titles, while staff in others didn't appear to know of any plans to stock games at all.

"We're going to continue to actively explore opportunities for new businesses and expanded product offerings within our stores, and we'll remain dedicated to the fundamentals of the business - managing our margins and inventory, controlling costs, and continuing to aggressively provide our customers with the service and the value they expect."

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