The retail juggernaut hauled in a fruitful bounty from its lucrative used games trade in the last year, raking in nearly $2 billion in sales, almost a quarter of the chain’s total revenue and a 22.4% increase from last year.
While other retailers are struggling to keep up with the rising tide of the economic downturn, GameStop isn’t just staying afloat, it’s soaring above the competition. Used games sales proved to have increasing value in the year 2008 as consumers began to find their checkbooks in a bind. “Nobody else has that used-games draw,” Joseph Feldman, retail analyst for the Telsey Advisory Group, told the Wall Street Journal. “Once you have played a game awhile and it loses its value, GameStop is pretty much the only place where you can get something for it, and that’s a big deal in this economy.”
In the last year used games sales made up nearly a quarter of GameStop’s business, accumulating nearly $2 billion in sales. Though that’s nowhere near a majority of the company’s revenue, business looks to only increase as the recession deepens and money gets more scarce. Most recently, in the nine weeks leading up to January 3, sales of new games and sales have only increased by 19% compared to sales of used games and systems rose by 32%.
And though developers and publishers have been vocal in their criticism of the practice’s siphoning of profits that arguably should be going to game makers and not game retailers, consumers don’t seem to be paying mnd. “I like the fact that you can trade in games,” Michael Reed, a GameStop customer said. Reed had traded in an old NHL game for $5 dollars, which he put toward a new copy of NHL 09. Did he get ripped off? Maybe, but to him it’s better than nothing: “It’s only a couple bucks, but it’s a couple bucks I didn’t have before.”