When The Economy Gets Tough, The Tough Play Video Games

As pretty much every retailer imaginable aside from Walmart loses money — one chain is not only doing fine, it’s actually growing — GameStop. It seems that when the going gets tough — people just want to play video games.

Reuters says that despite the economic downturn sales of video game systems have “remained robust,” a trend that GameStop’s CEO says has to do with the value of video gaming as apposed to other forms of entertainment.

“Consumers will continue to spend money on video game software as they see video game as really inexpensive entertainment,” that they can play for months, GameStop Chief Executive Dan DeMatteo told Reuters in an interview.

GameStop’s shares are up 11.4% and its earnings per share are expected to rise 18-22% this year — despite the grim economic outlook.

GameStop has plans to open 400 new stores this year, worldwide, as other retailers struggle to stay afloat. Part of GameStop’s secret to profitability is its trade-in program — in which gamers “sell” games for a fraction of the cost — and a fraction of the price at which the games can be resold. Something to think about when you go to “trade in” your used games.

UPDATE 2-GameStop sees growth despite economic slowdown [Reuters]

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