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GameStop in 2008: The Mega-Interview
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GameStop in 2008: The Mega-Interview

September 19, 2008 Article Start Previous Page 2 of 8 Next

Has the family section actually rolled out broadly across the chain yet?

BM: Yes, it was rolled out, and it continues. There are a few small stores which don't have it, or they may have moved it from a wall section to a gondola, but yes, it pretty much is in more than 95% of our stores.

TB: It's rolled out, and not only has it rolled out all the way, but as we go through our fall relay it will almost double in size, as we roll... into the Holiday season. 

Do you have partnerships with different manufacturers that are targeted towards merchandising that section?

BM: Yes, we work primarily, again -- like with kids' entertainment, we work closely with Nintendo. A lot of it is focused towards their formats; a lot of it is focused towards DS. We do some double-merchandising, like with DS hardware, to make sure that the consumer knows that we have that available as well, within the stores.

Also we work with other publishers like Ubisoft -- they've got such a great lineup that is focused right at that, like with their Imagine series, and again THQ with their SpongeBob and all of their franchises that they've got dedicated toward that [target]. And this fall with EA, coming out with the Mattel lineup -- again, those are going to be some classic games, like Nerf and Monopoly, that the consumer is really looking for.

TB: I think a great example of how we work with publishers is how, when we launched Guitar Hero for the DS, every single one of our stores, you could go in and actually play -- we gave them a DS with Guitar Hero on it, and they could go in, and you could hand it to them, and they could play it.

That's the type of thing that, in that genre, really needs to happen. People need to experience it. We were the only place you could go, and literally get your hands on it, and play it. And you had to physically hand them the DS, but that's something that we worked with the publisher -- to get that into all 4,300 stores.

You talked about the expanding demographic of your stores. Trying to appeal to different audiences, and obviously, the expanding demographic of games with the Wii and all of that. Have you done any research into how the demographic of your consumer is changing?

BM: Yeah, we really have. Tony made a great hire about 10 or 11 months ago. Now, Mike Hogan is our senior vice president of marketing. Mike has done a great job, not only doing independent research, but we've also partnered with some of our bigger publishers and shared results on consumer research that they have done within the market as well.

It's been very interesting, because a lot of the data that we've done independently is coming back really the same as the research that they've done, and it's really pointing toward GameStop as the preferred location for the core gamer, obviously, but for the expanded market as well. And that was a little bit different than I think what our publishing partners had definitely perceived and it was a little bit surprising to us as well.

TB: Let me give you a great example of the expanded audience. We have the capability to track, now, on a weekly basis, what people buy and the psychographics of those people. So, for instance, when we sold Wii Fit. We know that over 50% of the people who came in and bought Wii Fit. On average, the women who bought it were five years older than the average women who buy other games. We also know that they had a higher customer satisfaction -- almost 100%, which is obviously the highest that you could get -- in our stores.

But what was most impressive is that nearly 50% of the women who came in and bought Wii Fit hadn't been to a GameStop before. That's what we like. We love to see those games that are drawing people in, because as Bob mentioned, we do know this. Not only has independent research actually driven this, but also publisher research has driven this.

When you talk to mom, when you talk to the expanded customer, ask them, "What's your favorite place to shop?" We come out on top every single time. Obviously, with the core, we're two-to-one over our second competitor, we're three-to-one over our third competitor. The delta's not that high when you look at the expanded user. Definitely, GameStop's a solid number one, and the competition's behind us. We're excited about that.

And it's not a surprise to us, because we know our people are knowledgeable and that's where we really differentiate as compared to some of our competition. So it doesn't surprise us, but we are glad to see other people recognize it as well.

And this is information you're gathering via surveys?

TB: This is information we're gathering via surveys.

The types of surveys that you get on receipts, as most stores are doing these days?

TB: Yes. Most stores are doing this these days, I think, yes. I'm not sure how many of them are actually hooking it up with the transaction data, to say, "Okay, this is the transaction that these people actually did." I think that makes us unique. So, for instance, I can tell you last week that 53% of the people who bought DS last week are women. 49% of the people who bought Wii last week are women. The average age of the woman who bought the Wii was four years older than our average age that was in there.

So the good news is that we are monitoring this weekly to make sure that we are going after that expanded audience, as well as making sure that our share stays extremely strong with the core. Because we are not going to lose the core as we continue to cater to the expanded audience. The core is really what we've grown up with and what we're seeing is that our model can expand and adapt, with the expanded audience, and that we can thrill them as well.

Article Start Previous Page 2 of 8 Next

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