Staff Discussion: Is The High Street Purchase Dead?

With games been much cheaper in a collection of online stores (eBay, import, play.com) and with those sites offering a better collection of games and ease of purchase is the day of heading out to you local game store and falling out with the person behind the desk over? If you do still buy from the high-street, what compels you to do so? We ask our staff..

Ben

Other than the occasional £5 bargain in the sales I’ve not bought anything in the high street for a long time. GAME and the other highstreet stores always price everything at the RRP which makes online stores at least 30% cheaper. Shopping for games in the high street died a long time ago for me. It wasn’t just the price, half the time I couldn’t find what I wanted and the games are never shrink-wrapped. It’s just not worth the hassle of driving into town, queuing up to buy an over-priced game that will have finger prints on the CD and hundreds of people have touched the box.

Ian

95% of my games purchases are made online, the more expensive prices in the high street simply put me off. The only time I would now buy from the high street is if I wanted a game there and then, like if you’re bored and want something to play immediately. Then you can nip into town and be playing something new in half an hour. Aside from that, it’s online buying every time for me. That doesn’t mean the high street is dying though. On the odd occasions I do pop into Game or Gamestation, they still seem plenty busy enough. The danger for the industry is that this is all interest in the second hand market, which gives developers no income at all. This, combined with cut price online selling, could stifle creativity and risk taking from developers in future.

Adam

High street stores are great for certain gaming related items, and for pre owned materials, however the online sector is destroying this, and pre owned games in GAME stores for example are only dropping about £5 off the full price cost in some circumstances.

I do think the natural progression of high street, to online purchasing to full online downloads (i.e. no more pretty cases) is definitely starting to show now, and is probably following a pattern which has been expected for years now. If GAME etc have not been prepared for this then its there own fault really. At the end of the day the consumer wins!

Chris

I very rarely buy many games online at full retail price nowadays for the past 4 years I have had on off jobs working for various retail companies that just so happen to sell games. GAME, HMV, Gamestation (currently). I have therefore the benefit of a nice staff discount which is alright and I only really us to get my friends games to be honest, I use the store’s lending policy and just borrow games play them and then return the damn things.

Working in retail I guess I am in a position to comment on the state of the industry but I can say one thing Gamestation is currently the biggest profit margin making games store in the UK atm, our store still seems to reach the ridiculous targets and beat down the opposition of the local games stores, GAME (2 of), Playtime and Virgin. We are busy even on the Sundays, I think therefore that Street purchases are still very much alive and kicking heck I sold 2 360’s in only three days of work this week and apparently now is a summer drought!!