UK-based video games retailer, Game, has unveiled its new strategy to lure customers away from buying games from overseas websites.
Bricks-and-mortar retailers in Australia have been pummelled by the dominance of overseas online stores offering much cheaper prices for products.
Websites such as Play-Asia.com offer dramatic discounts even for new release video games. With the Australian dollar trading at an all-time high, many consumers have flocked to buy online since the high dollar value has failed to translate into savings in retail outlets.
At its flagship shop in Parramatta, Sydney, Game showed a new store design featuring a lavish in-store game stands which show-off the latest wares from the three major console brands Xbox, PlayStation and Nintendo.
Shoppers can find a comfortable environment to play new titles for as long as they want. The new design will be rolled-out to the rest of the Game stores across the country.
Game marketing director, Ben Grant, was present at the in-store launch event where he apologised on behalf of all video game retailers for turning the business into one that is pre-occupied with pricing wars without enhancing the retail experience.
“We do not showcase the excitement that is contained within a DVD box to entice customers and instead putting a price sticker on it and produce a catalogue,” he said. “We are very fortunate to work with some of the most exciting, innovative and immersive products that has taken years of passion, creativity and dedication, hundreds of hours of hard work yet as retailers we do not demonstrate this to the customer.
“Every single retailer in Australia is guilty of this.”
With video games pricing a complex issue, Game has not made a commitment to lower prices to be more competitive with online retailers.
“Whatever we do, we can’t fix [the pricing issue] ourselves so this is our way of saying there is a reason to shop in an Australian retail store,” Game managing director, Paul Yardy, said. “Take the game out of it for a second; we have to add something to that customer experience.
“I think that is a big part of us doing our bid to start that process off and the industry need to recognise there is a lot to be done.”
Yardy wasn’t concerned about its new store design attracting loiterers.
“It doesn’t matter if they come in one day, spend all day playing and don’t buy anything because they might come back the next day and make a purchase,” he said. “It’s more of a longer-term strategy.”
As part of the revamp, Game is also launching Game.tv, an online show featuring two of the retailer’s in-store staff who will banter about upcoming games and weekly deals. The show is aimed at hardcore as well as casual gamers.