Digital and loyalty shore up Game

A 40% rise in digital sales and nearly 20 million loyalty card-holders have helped to shore up video games retailer Game Group, although have failed to prevent sales falling by 10.6% in the 41 weeks to November 12.
Game claimed its performance was ahead of the overall video games market, which fell 12.3% in the period, although it warned that it now expects full year like-for-like revenues to be no better than 7%.
Despite the difficult trading, Game said its medium term strategy was “on track”, with group digital sales growing by over 40% in the year to date, following the launch of new initiatives. In addition, 15 exclusive editions of AAA software titles had been released in the last 10 weeks, which had increased the group’s market share. Further exclusive editions will launch before Christmas.
In February, Game chief executive Ian Shepherd revealed plans to exploit the company’s Reward Card loyalty scheme and a target to raise £100m in sales within two years through marketing to its members.
Yesterday, the group said 2.3 million new customers had joined its loyalty schemes this year, taking the total to 19.3 million.
Shepherd added: “The overall video games market remains very challenging, despite strong title launches, and our guidance today reflects the extraordinary economic times in which we are operating. Game has outperformed the market, reinforcing our position as market leader, and I am hugely proud of our teams.
“They remain focused on delivering our strategy, controlling costs and driving operational cashflow, and we remain well placed to benefit in the medium term both from the next console cycle and the growth in digital and social gaming.”

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