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 Sainsbury’s over the weekend, with the retailer cutting £30 off the price of Xbox 360 and Wii hardware – an offer which meant the 360 was available for under £100. Armies of staff from GAME, Gamestation, CHIPS and numerous independents then swooped to snap up the cut-price consoles.
“With 360 and Wii on sale at these prices we allowed our store managers to supplement their stock by buying consoles from their local Sainsbury’s,” explained GAME Group CEO Lisa Morgan.
“Availability 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.”
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 retailer’s store managers had bought almost 1,000 of the estimated 2,000 consoles sold by Sainsbury’s. The consoles were later resold in Game stores.
What do you think? I’m sure such behaviour is legal, but is it ethical?