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Video game sales helped Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda seize a greater share of the entertainment market

Strong sales of computer games have helped Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda boost their share of the entertainment market.

Tesco’s market share was up 0.6% for the 12 weeks ending 22 December 2013, according to data from Kantar Worldpanel, while Asda’s rose 0.9%. The data, which covers physical sales of videos, games and music as well as digital sales of music, also showed positive growth for Sainsbury’s, with its share up 0.4%.

It was less positive news for Morrisons, which saw its share of the retail entertainment market dropping 0.7 percentage points to 2.3%.

Supermarkets have become the location of choice for gamers over recent years, with the average cost of a game in a supermarket totalling £25.50 in 2012, compared with £27.82 at a specialist retailer [Entertainment Retailers’ Association].

However, despite the growth of three of the big four this Christmas, high-street specialist Game was the big winner, according to Kantar Wordpanel, cashing on the arrival of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, which both launched in November.

“Game did particularly well following the launch of the new next-gen consoles, claiming 30% of PS4 and Xbox One games sales and gaining £10m from winning shoppers from other retailers,” said Fiona Keenan, strategic insight director at Kantar Worldpanel.

“Over £4m of this was taken from the supermarkets, which didn’t perform as strongly in next-gen games sales despite achieving a high share in the overall games market.”

Game posted an 83% increase in total sales for the six weeks to 4 January, as speculation builds that it is planning a return to the stock market.

Elsewhere, Amazon continued to lead entertainment sales after posting its highest ever market share. It holds over a quarter of the market (26.3%) – a 5.9 percentage point growth compared with the same period last year.

“The release of new consoles in the games market has really boosted software sales in a period where music and video are suffering; the video games market is relatively stable, down by only 2% year-on-year, while video and music have suffered heavy annual declines of 22% and 16% respectively,” added Keenan.  

Despite sales of console games falling 26.4% year-on-year in 2012, the market remains strong, according to Harvey Eagle, MD of Xbox UK. He told The Grocer last year the recent slump in sales was “completely normal” as the industry was approaching the end of the nine-year life cycle of the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3, and that there would be a “much healthier picture” after the new Xbox One and Playstation 4 consoles had been on sale for 12 months.