GameStop records holiday sales of $3.02 billion

Specialty retailer reports modest year-over-year growth; Modern Warfare 3, Skyrim, AC: Revelations drive software; digital sales up 60 percent, fueled by Call of Duty: Elite.


Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

The 2011 holiday shopping season was prosperous for GameStop, as the specialty retailer today announced a year-over-year sales increase of over 5 percent during the nine-week holiday period ended December 31. Sales for the special period were $3.02 billion, up from $2.86 billion during the same window last year.

GameStop's shops did billions in business this holiday.
GameStop's shops did billions in business this holiday.

New software sales surged 9.9 percent ahead of last year's tally, led by sell-through figures of high-profile Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 new releases like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and Assassin's Creed: Revelations. GameStop CEO Paul Raines called Wii software sales "weak," and a factor that offset sales of high-definition console software.

Used game sales during the holiday 2011 period also grew, up 3.5 percent over last year's figure, and up 7 percent year-to-date.

Hardware sales dropped 19.6 percent for the period, a dip that GameStop says is a result of "no new console products or low enough price points to stimulate consumer demand."

GameStop's largest holiday growth sector was its digital sales department, which grew 60 percent year-over-year. The retailer said this growth was led by sales of Call of Duty: Elite subscriptions, which run $50 for a 12-month period.

In 2011, GameStop began selling tablets and accepting iOS device trade-ins. And during the holiday 2011 period, the retailer said trades of mobile devices equaled 4 percent of total company trade volume.

Looking ahead, GameStop reiterated its previously stated fourth quarter and full-year earnings per share guidance figures of $1.66 to $1.76 and $2.82 to $2.92, respectively.

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