GameStop announced that for the last nine weeks of 2012, the company saw sales of $2.88 billion, or 4.6 percent less than the same period of 2011. This marks the first year-over-year holiday sales decrease since GameStop merged with rival Electronics Boutique in 2005.
According to GameStop, the primary reason for the decrease was diminishing in-store traffic. Second-hand sales were down 15.6 percent, with the retailer noting fewer releases for 2012, while new game sales were down 5.1 percent and hardware numbers were down 2.7 percent.
Digital sales were up more than 40 percent for the holiday period, e-commerce sales rose 20.5 percent, and mobile brought in $76.5 million (though that is a small part of the overall pie for GameStop). The retailer said it did well by the Wii U launch, having sold 320,000 systems.
However, Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter was far more bearish over this first holiday period for the Wii U. He said the Wii U moved 675,000 units at U.S. retail in its second month with a software attach rate around one per hardware unit.
Pachter described the launch numbers of the Wii U as underwhelming, blaming the softness of the market for Nintendo products for no small part of the gaming retail industry's general malaise. He expects NPD decline of 11 percent in console software sales due to the Wii U's underwhelming launch and fatigue with titles like Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 and Halo 4.