Asda ready to unveil new in-store gaming formats

Asda is ramping up its presence in the gaming sector with a new in-store format it has developed with Nintendo. It will include branded aisles when it is rolled out from next month.

The retailer will abandon its usual look and colour scheme in favour of rows given over to different game formats as it seeks to boost its computer games revenue.

The concept will be introduced in 130 stores in July and August, while a further 30 will be converted by the end of the year.

Asda buying manager for games Duncan Cross says the new areas will be “fundamentally different” to the rest of the store.

It is thought to be the first time that branding and point-of-sale materials have been given such prominence in the chain’s stores.

The gaming aisles will be split between four formats carried by Asda – Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS, Sony PS3 and Microsoft Xbox 360 – with each carrying both software and hardware.

“The games sector is the most important part of the entertainments business and we want to take advantage of that while it is booming,” says Cross. “People talk about games stores of the future, but we want to be the games store for now.”

The new look was developed in partnership with Nintendo, which has recently launched its DS Centre, in-store consoles where DS users can trial games, download content and access the internet.

Rival supermarket Sainsbury’s is also set to unveil “aggressive plans” to drive games sales and reclaim market share. It is thought to include extra space and an increased range of stock.

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