Is Nintendo UK in A Retailer Relations Disaster?

With recent reports of Tesco’s reducing Nintendo shelf space to a corner within the Xbox 360 bay, we need to look at as to why in most major high street retailers Nintendo is getting a raw deal.

Within the last year, Nintendo UK fell out with the last remaining games specialist retailer on the high street. Game Group was seemingly blacklisted from stocking Nintendo-published titles, including some major first-party releases, that also resulted in Game sending out cancellation emails of pre-ordered games to customers. This situation has since been resolved, but could this be the first insight into a growing retailer relations mismanagement at Nintendo UK?

In most recent times, we have seen at retailers, such as ASDA and Tesco, either not stock new games and hardware for Nintendo or significantly reduce shop floor space dedicated to their hardware and software. Consumer attitudes have changed in the fact that they don\’t go to retailers that specialise in electrical goods for games hardware and software as much anymore. They like to pick up a game along with their weekly shopping as has happened with the DVD business. With these shifting attitudes, I find it hard to believe that Nintendo is happy to just leave things as they are. They can throw as much money as they like into fantastic advertising schemes, but that all doesn\’t matter a penny if consumers cannot find the items where they would expect it.

Is Nintendo mismanaging retailers? We can only speculate to the reasons; we see the published performance data of the industry. So are retailers truly treating Nintendo differently compared to other platforms or is Nintendo at fault for not working with retailing partners as well as they could?

~~Post-Editorial Note~~
Hours after publishing Nintendo announced a partnership with Tesco involving purchasing in-store retail space and a huge marketing blitz. Nintendo seem to be gearing up for the big fight come christmas with the launch of competing platforms and are trying to enforce a retail presence where possible.

Mark Loughlin