GameStop posts $2.8 billion holiday season

Call of Duty, Guitar Hero, World of Warcraft, Gears of War, and Wii Fit top store's sales chart as retailer closes out 2008 with record-breaking stretch of game sales.

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Times may be tough in the current economy, but at least one retail chain experienced happy holidays. GameStop updated investors today with record-breaking sales figures for the holiday shopping season.

From November 2, 2008 through January 3, 2009, the specialty retailer brought in more than $2.8 billion in revenue. That's more than 22 percent higher than the roughly $2.3 billion it brought in during the same period the year before, with same-store sales averaging a 10 percent increase.

The retailer attributed the growth first to sales of new games, and revealed its top five sellers for the holiday period. Activision scored twice with Call of Duty: World at War and Guitar Hero World Tour among the best sellers, alongside Blizzard's World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King, Microsoft's Gears of War 2, and Nintendo's Wii Fit.

Hardware sales were also up more than 23 percent for GameStop, with the Nintendo Wii and Xbox 360 leading the way. Such success wasn't unique to one territory, either. GameStop operates stores in 17 countries around the world, and the company said that sales were up in every region.

It wasn't all good news, given that GameStop's booming sales won't fully translate to its bottom line. The retailer said that much of the increased revenue came from products with slim profit margins, such as hardware or games discounted for sales promotions.

The news spurred GameStop's stock skyward, and shares were trading up $3.01 (more than 13 percent) to $25.62 as of press time. The retailer's full-year sales data is expected to be released in mid-March.

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