Shopping has become less of a chore nowadays. With the Internet being readily available, it’s now possible to do shopping research and check for availability without having to pick up a phone or even get out of your chair. It’s so easy to find anything you want, and even find a few things you didn’t want originally, that its no wonder that sales are up. In fact, this last year was the highest e-commerce sales year to date, with spending reaching over 102.1 billion dollars for 2006. With that news, and the ever-growing popularity of video gaming, it comes as no surprise that GameStop broke its previous sales records and sold over 1.7 billion dollars with of merchandise in the 9 weeks leading up to Christmas.
According to Yahoo, GameStop (NYSE: GME and GME-B), the world’s largest stand-alone game retailer, has reported that company sales for this holiday season have surpassed last years sales by 23.9%. Sales for the company were no doubt boosted by the release of two new consoles plus a few major software titles (Gears of War, Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess). R. Richard Fontaine, Chairman and CEO of GameStop Corp., had this to say:
“Without question this holiday season was one of the most successful ever for GameStop. I am particularly pleased with the robust sales of hardware systems, even in the face of ongoing shortages of PlayStation 3 and Wii. The diversity of desired products made this a real ‘game specialist’s holiday’.”
The release of the Sony PlayStation 3 and the extremely popular Nintendo Wii have made 2006 a year to remember for hardware enthusiasts, and almost guarantee that 2007 will be the same for software fans as more complex games reach the market after companies have had extra time to learn the new platforms. With the Nintendo Wii and DS Lite, which has suffered epic shortages, being so popular gaming has had a boost from the casual market. “We have never had a holiday season with more hardware choices or more accessory options, and perhaps what is most encouraging is that, we are seeing a broader base of customers enjoying the gaming experience than ever before,” said Fontaine.
2006 was a great year for the games business. Though the NPD sales numbers won’t be released til next week, it’s looking like December 2006 was a record setting month.