Last week popular video game retailer GameStop announce that it will be closing 2-3% of stores after recording low sales numbers over the holiday season. This is a trend we are seeing with more and more brick and mortar electronic entertainment stores.
The clear consensus regarding the lack of sales for stores such as GameStop are downloadable content, and online retailers such as Amazon. So how can a struggling electronic entertainment franchise adapt to the changing market. GameStop’s answer is to quit relying on gaming companies for their bottom line.
In an announcement related to the closing of some 190 GameStop stores, the CEO, Paul Raines said, “the video game category was weak, particularly in the back half of 2016.” Clearly frustrated with the lack of products being released by gaming giants such as Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft, GameStop is shifting its perspective.
Recently, the company has seen quite a bit of upside in selling popular culture collectables such as the POP! Figurines. While there is no clear intention of rebranding GameStop to sell purely collectible items, there is undoubtedly a shift in the market.
With the resurgence of Star Wars, and new Harry Potter movies such as Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the nerd genre movie market is booming. Not to mention the increasingly popular super hero movies and television shows. All of these items lead up to one thing. It is a great time to be a nerd. And it seems that GameStop has found a way to capitalize on this new trend by stocking the collectibles for these big names.
It seems dealing in these collectibles has improved the sales of GameStop drastically enough to close down the stores as stated above, but also open a few new ones globally. Clearly, this is a strategy to open up stores where they think their new collectible merchandise will be more popular.
As we move toward a new season in the gaming industry what types of things should GameStop be looking for to keep the doors open. The answer seems to be new hardware. Dealing in new video games seems to be a worn out business strategy.
Consumers no longer need to line up outside of gaming stores for days to get their hands on the newest release of a game. We simply preorder the title on the console, and wait for it to download. Hardware on the other hand is something gamers would wait for. In some cases, gamers would utilize GameStop over the internet in order to get some cash for their old console. So here’s to a good year for new hardware!