Game reports 6.7% Christmas sales drop

<p>Game Digital has seen sales fall by 6.7 per cent in the 11 weeks to January 10th.</p>

Game Digital is counting the cost of Christmas after the group reported disappointing sales for the period.

The video games retailer, formerly known as Game Group, stated that group sales fell by 6.7 per cent in the 11 weeks to January 10th. It noted that a "highly competitive Christmas trading period" was to blame for the slump in sales. The firm now expects its full year earnings to remain flat as it recovers from the decline.

Black Friday was also highlighted as being one of the key factor behind the drop in sales. The shopping event, started in the US to mark the first shopping day after Thanksgiving, sees retailers slash their prices significantly for a limited time. Both in the US and in the UK it sparked almost riots in certain stores.

Game noted that the Black Friday event accelerated consumer behaviours and thus driving lower average selling prices with an "unprecedented bundling of games". The company explained that there was an increase in promotional activity across the gaming market which resulting in significant hardware volume growth for next generation consoles.

Martyn Gibbs, Game Digital's chief executive officer, explained that the firm wants to capitalise on events such as Black Friday in the future. The aim is to carry this boost in sales carry through to Christmas.

"We now have a huge customer base within the new formats, to sell both mint and preowned physical and digital content and accessories to over the long term," Mr Gibbs said.

"We have a solid line up of new physical and digital games being launched in our second half and have already secured a number of key exclusives. Our teams remain focused on delivering our unique specialist gaming experience for our customers."

The results of the latest trading resulted in a major dip in Game Digital's share price which fell by 35.12 per cent on Wednesday (January 14th) morning.

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