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UK sees surge in pre-owned stockists

3000 stores now offer trade-in games, with ASDA the latest generalist retailer to roll-out initiative

The number of UK shops offering pre-owned game sales and trade-in programmes has increased by a third over the last year.

Around 3000 stores nationwide boast some sort of second-hand service, findings by MCV reveal - up 1000 on last year.

Non-traditional game stockists are experimenting too, with Tesco, Argos and most recently Asda all introducing trade-in programmes this year.

Asda this week revealed plans to offer its service in 234 of its stores – approximately two-thirds of the Walmart-owned chain's UK branches.

GAME CEO Ian Shepherd hinted that his chain remained the king of trade-in, however. "Our pre-owned business goes from strength-to-strength – it's a strong and growing part of our mix," he said.

"No one can be bold enough to claim such a thing as 100 per cent share. Is there room for others in the market? Yes, there probably is."

He also claimed that measures by the likes of EA (with Project $10/Online Pass) to attach publisher profit to trade-in games had not dented the growth of second-hand sales.

"No, we've not seen the changes in the commercial nature of how some games have launched make any impact on the trade-in category. It's still a strong part of our business."

HMV boss Simon Fox is also optimistic about the pre-owned market, telling GamesIndustry.biz this week that he believes it drive new release sales too.

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Alec Meer

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A 10-year veteran of scribbling about video games, Alec primarily writes for Rock, Paper, Shotgun, but given any opportunity he will escape his keyboard and mouse ghetto to write about any and all formats.

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