I know I’m late to this – it happened in October – but I hadn’t seen this story until I read a reader’s letter in the new issue of GamesTM magazine. The gist: Sainsbury’s was flogging consoles at a loss, and a significant proportion of those consoles were bought not by punters, but by managers of games shops. According to MCV:
The latest round of price slashing kicked off at Sainsburyâ€™s over the weekend, with the retailer cutting Â£30 off the price of Xbox 360 and Wii hardware â€“ an offer which meant the 360 was available for under Â£100. Armies of staff from GAME, Gamestation, CHIPS and numerous independents then swooped to snap up the cut-price consoles.
â€œWith 360 and Wii on sale at these prices we allowed our store managers to supplement their stock by buying consoles from their local Sainsburyâ€™s,â€ explained GAME Group CEO Lisa Morgan.
â€œAvailability was very inconsistent, but on the whole it was a worthwhile exercise. Our strategy is centred on giving our customers choice, good value and having the best possible availability going into the Christmas period.â€
That’s “good value” in the sense of “ensuring nobody can get it cheaper than we sell it for”, I presume. The Telegraph wrote:
Lisa Morgan, the chief executive of Game, confirmed that the retailerâ€™s store managers had bought almost 1,000 of the estimated 2,000 consoles sold by Sainsburyâ€™s. The consoles were later resold in Game stores.
What do you think? I’m sure such behaviour is legal, but is it ethical?