The digital distribution sector for games may be bigger than ever, but the same can be said for significant chunks of the brick-and-mortar market. For example, specialty retailer GameStop today announced its results for the full year and fourth fiscal quarter ended January 29, reporting record revenues for both.
For the final three months of its fiscal year, GameStop reported sales of $3.69 billion, up 4.8 percent year-over-year. Profits were also up, as the company's net earnings for the holiday period totaled $237.8 million, 10 percent higher than the prior year's fourth quarter.
GameStop's full-year figures were similarly strong, with the chain's fiscal 2010 going down as its biggest campaign to date, with total sales reaching a new high of $9.47 billion, up 4.3 percent from fiscal 2009's take of $9.08 billion. The year also saw the company gain traction with its own digital distribution efforts, selling $290 million of downloadable content for consoles and PCs, up 61 percent from 2009. The company also posted its highest-ever net earnings for the year, finishing $408 million in the black.
The retailer expects its fiscal 2011 to be even bigger, as it projected first-quarter and full-year sales to be up 6 to 8 percent. To help achieve that goal, the company is spending $100 million on "digital initiatives, technology systems and loyalty program support," with another $70 million set aside for store openings and remodeling of existing locations. While it expects to open 200 new stores in the US in 2011, GameStop also plans to close 200 stores, typically those with expiring leases in areas already served by other GameStops.