Major U.S. retail store Target has announced that its retail locations and online webstore will now be accepting trade-ins of used console and handheld video games, following similar moves by other big box retailers such as Best Buy.
The program launches today in Northern California and will be available in more Target locations by next month, with 850 stores planned to offer the service before the end of the year. The Target website will also accept trade-ins of used electronics and DVDs.
Store credit will be issued for the trades, which also may include used iPhones, iPods and cell phones in addition to video games. All items will be evaluated at the Target Mobile counter inside Target stores -- often located directly next to the video game section -- and any credit issued can be used immediately.
With used games bringing high margins to specialty retail stores like GameStop, other retail chains are looking closely at the practice. For example, electronics retailer Best Buy launched a similar program
in June of last year, offering kiosks in its retail stores that allowed customers to trade in games for store credit.
However, GameStop's CEO Paul Raines recently commented
that "we simply have not seen an impact." Raines noted that some big box retailers have only announced plans to start dealing in used games, while others have started used game businesses, but on a very limited scale.
The announcement by Target comes as it has been concentrating on improving its video game offerings, revamping its electronics departments
and adding 30 percent more floorspace in an effort to create a better shopping experience for video game buyers.
Target spokesperson Joshua Thomas told Gamasutra during a May interview discussing their video game department that Target "does not have any plans to go into the used game business" -- but the firm has evidently changed its mind since then.