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GameStop results shed new holiday insights

GRAPEVINE, Texas — Lower in-store traffic at GameStop during the holiday resulted in a decline in same-store sales during the first nine weeks of the company’s fourth quarter.

Total global sales for the nine-week period ended December 29 decreased 4.6%, compared to com 2011 holiday sales period. Comparable store sales decreased 4.4%, with U.S. comps of -3.5% and international comps of -6.4%.

Despite soft sales, GameStop highlighted several successes, including the Wii U launch and strong digital and mobile growth. Although it was not enough to offset lower store traffic, CEO Paul Raines contends that GameStop has a strong market that positions the retailer well for 2013, as do anticipated new product launches for this year.

“GameStop experienced mixed results during the holiday selling period. Our successful Wii U launch, strong digital growth and continued momentum in the mobile space were countered by a decline in store traffic,” said Paul Raines, CEO. “As a result, GameStop expects its fourth quarter 2012 earnings per share results to be at the low end of its current guidance range. Our strong market share positions us well for the future, and we look forward to new product launches in 2013.”

For the holiday period, new hardware sales decreased 2.7%, including the sale of 320,000 Nintendo Wii U units worldwide. Sales of new video game software decreased 5.1% as frontline title releases could not offset a decline in overall store traffic. The pre-owned category declined 15.6% as limited inventory due to fewer new titles released throughout 2012 and less promotional activity negatively impacted sales compared to last year.

GameStop has 6,650 company-operated stores in 15 countries worldwide.