I’d like to think that we UK gamers are quite savvy when it comes to finding the best deal when buying games. And let’s face it; everything is generally cheaper online from the vast number of websites like Amazon, ShopTo, Zavvi, Game Collection and deal forums like HotUkDeals when comparing prices to high street stores like Game, HMV, Argos or the local supermarket.
Well gamers, it would seem that more than half of all physical games are still sold in traditional bricks and mortar establishments according to last year’s stats. This is particularly surprising given the large amount of store closures that dominated the UK market in 2013 with Blockbuster shutting down completely and hundreds of Game and HMV stores closing while going through administration restructuring.
According to stats released by the ERA (Entertainment Retail Association), online sales only made up 29% of the sales figures for boxed games. The remaining 71% was split between the high street (41%) and supermarkets (20%).
The same study also confirms high street stores and supermarkets are still more expensive on average, making the stats even more surprising as it’s generally thought that online shopping for entertainment media had become the norm even amongst the non-gaming community. For example, how many people do you know that smugly claim to do all their Christmas shopping online nowadays rather than brave the high street?
If digital sales had been included, it’s expected that the trend would be reversed, although we presume PC games would be the biggest factor in that field. PC gamers have generally abandoned boxed games for a while now thanks to the digital services like Steam, but digital prices on consoles have been notoriously high for years, leaving us to chase the best price for a physical product. But with more store closures year after year, will we see a change in 2014?
We’d love to hear about your own shopping habits. Do you shop online exclusively? Or do you still regularly head down to your local branded store on the high street, supermarket or indie shop to buy games?