HMV to start selling used games

The international retailer is set to expand into the secondhand games market after seeing tech-related sales increase 50 percent in a year.

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HMV has revealed that it will be moving into the sale of used games, as noted in its financial-year results for the 52 weeks ending April 26, 2008. Games and technology are rapidly growing areas for the company--which once specialised in music--and now account for 21 percent of all HMV sales (compared to 14 percent the previous year).

Last year the retail chain also started trailing "next-generation HMV store formats," which feature multiplayer games zones. These have proved successful by outperforming the old-fashioned stores, and 10 to 15 more will follow in the rest of 2008 and through 2009.

According to the company's financials, games and technology products, including MP3 players, will become increasingly more of a fixture in HMV stores. The report states, "We continued to enhance our credibility with customers and suppliers in the fast-growing games console and software market, and are planning to launch a pre-played games offer in 2008/09."

HMV has stores in the UK, Canada, Singapore, and Hong Kong. Until recently it also had operations in Japan, but these were sold for a profit of £51.8 million. The total sales for its financial year were up to £1.9 billion, and profit was £89 million.

The company faces strong competition in the secondhand games market in the UK. Not only do high-street stores Game and Gamestation (the former bought the latter last year) stock a considerable range, but specialist stores including CEX sell only secondhand products. There are also a variety of places on the Internet to snap up used-game bargains, including Amazon Marketplace and eBay.

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