UK game retailers angry at supermarket prices

Written by Joe Martin

October 5, 2009 | 12:23

Tags: #buy #cheap #law #retailer #sale #supermarket #value

A number of independent game retailers in the UK have begun to ask the government for a change in legislation to stop supermarkets from selling games at massively reduced prices after chains like Tesco and Asda have reportedly started FIFA 10 promotions that sell the game at half the RRP.

Speaking to GI.biz, Don McCabe of UK store Chips said that although the sales would see reduced prices in the short terms the sales would eventually force some stores out of business and create less choice in the market.

"Once they've got the whole market they'll expand their profits, reduce the choice and screw the suppliers," said McCabe. "And the only thing that can be done is what other countries have, which is to "recognise the insidious march of the supermarkets model is detrimental to the consumer ultimately."

"It's decreased choice. You just have to look at the amount of suppliers that are screaming holy blue murder over Tesco whose businesses just get driven into the ground by the demands that some of the supermarkets make on them. At the end of the day, the only people who actually benefit from it are Tesco shareholders."

"This sort of price slaughtering has been going on for years and it will probably always happen," admitted Neil Muspratt, director of SimplyGames.

"The timing of this particular activity is especially unhelpful. Like it or not, software prices are on the increase and selling one of the biggest releases of the year at less than £25 GBP sends a message to consumers that any higher pricing must mean they are being ripped off."

"It is also a particularly negative way to start off the all-important Q4 period and reflects badly on the entire industry – but what do they care?" he added.

Muspratt said that the worst part of it was that, with supermarkets selling at below cost, he was now getting his own stock from them and sending teams to buy out the stock that the shops would then need to sell at a higher price.

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