U.K. entertainment retailer HMV is entering the pre-played games market with its “Re/Play” service, which will launch Oct. 24.
Re/Play will launch in 160 stores across the U.K. and Ireland, including
flagships in London’s Oxford Street, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Newcastle, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Belfast and Dublin, before being rolled out to the rest of the chain in 2009.
Customers will be able to exchange previously purchased console games – for PlayStation 2, PS3, PSP, Xbox 360, Nintendo DS and Wii formats – in exchange for credit against the purchase of other games titles.
The retailer says that games can also be exchanged for credit on all other product categories sold within HMV, including CDs, DVDs, Blu Ray DVDs and technology devices, such as iPods and games consoles. Books, t-shirts and concert tickets are also covered and HMV claims this trade-in policy for games is unique among specialist entertainment retailers. The service has been trialled in a number of stores.
“This represents a great deal for our customers, as well as for our industry, as we believe it will help to drive footfall and stimulate increased sales of new games releases and hardware, as well as other entertainment products available from HMV,” said HMV head of games Tim Ellis in a statement.
The launch of Re/Play follows HMV’s recent acquisition of Gamerbase, the online/virtual gaming business. It already operates in HMV’s Trocadero store and will shortly open in HMV Manchester, followed by selected stores in 2009.
“Our launch into pre-played games and the acquisition of gamerbase.com underlines HMV’s long term commitment to games as it becomes an ever-increasing part of our overall product mix,” said HMV managing director Simon Fox in a statement. “This is a great time to launch, with so many compelling games titles being released for Christmas, and just as importantly the offer will reinforce HMV’s strong value credentials with customers.”
The Re/Play concept was developed by the retailer’s retained brand consultancy, venturethree.