Declaring that it "rises above recession," retailer GameStop reported record results for the nine-week holiday season, with sales up 22.3 percent year-over-year to $2.3 million.
Comparable store sales also increased 10.2 percent over the period, during which GameStop said it saw "outstanding" sales of new games. Its top sellers were Activision’s Call of Duty: World at War and Guitar Hero World Tour; Microsoft’s Gears of War 2, Blizzard Entertainment’s World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King, and Nintendo’s Wii Fit.
GameStop said it also saw "robust" hardware sales led by the Wii and the Xbox 360, "dramatically increasing the installed base of new users," and suggesting that the hardware boost would continue to further drive software sales over the coming year.
"As expected, the consumer saw great entertainment value in video games in one of the most challenging holiday shopping seasons ever," says GameStop CEO Dan DeMatteo. "In fact, in the midst of a serious recession, our average transaction was higher this year than last."
The company's sales grew in every territory in which it operates stores, DeMatteo added, "a clear indication that the GameStop model works everywhere."
COO J. Paul Raines also adds that gift card sales over the nine-week holiday period rose 15 percent year over year -- and that the day after Christmas was the third-highest sales volume day in the company's history.
The company met its earnings forecast and raised its fiscal fourth quarter 2008 comparable store sales guidance slightly by a half a percent, and its earnings per share guidance by 15 to 18 percent over the previous year's quarter.