In what could be considered a colossal move for the popular store, it was recently revealed that the retailer will not only start selling used games, but will accept trade-ins.
The announcement was made by Duncan Mac Naughton (merchandising chief for Wal-Mart) during a conference call and promised to “shake up” the used games market. The program will roll-out to thousands of store locations across the country, as customers will now be capable of bringing in their used titles to their local Wal-Marts.
However one difference is that the chain will not offer cash for trades, but rather allow people to use in-store credit for ANY retail merchandise (not just more games). Upon inspection of the disc for damages to ensure it’s in good condition, the customer will be able to make their purchases that day while the discs will be sent to a third-part company for restoration and recertification as “pre-owned.” After which, they will be returned to store shelves for re-sale.
While some may see this as a threat to GameStop, others are less impressed (pointing to many big-box chains who have also tried a similar tactic). Analyst Arvind Bhatia happens to be one of them, believing that stores like GameStop have little to worry about right now. “It makes sense and feels natural that various retailers that offer new video games would try to offer trade-ins as well. However, as many retailers have discovered in the past, buying product from merchants in bulk is quite different than buying 1 disc at a time from customers.” He states.
The success of Wal-Mart’s venture is yet unsure, but it is worth noting that GameStop’s stock took a slight dip upon the news hitting the markets. Tune in tomorrow as I explore the possible impacts of Wal-Mart as a used title retailer, and what that could mean for us gamers.