For those not in the know, the UK announced this past weekend that a new National Lockdown is incoming that poses a challenge to next generation sales. The new UK lockdown, which starts from tomorrow (Thursday 5th November), will see all non essential stores closing until December 2nd. Despite our belief in the contrary, this includes video game stockists. While no surprise, it hits the video game industry right where it hurts. November, after all, is the launch month for the Xbox Series X/S and the PlayStation 5.
As you may remember from September, managing to get a pre-order for either console proved difficult. Online stockists sold out in minutes and many turned to brick and mortar stores to secure a console on release day. While the postal deliveries are unaffected by the lockdown, it means anyone intending to buy their console from a physical store cannot do so. This gives some consumers the nightmare scenario of having a console sat in store waiting for them but unable to purchase and collect until Dec 2nd.
So what happens if you are one of those affected by this new lockdown? Well fear not – the UK Government has provided a slight loophole that many stores are looking to utilise. Click and collect purchases (i.e. where the item has been paid for and is collection only) is still allowed and this seems to be the route that many stockists are looking at exploiting.
The last nationwide dedicated video game store, Game, have confirmed that for those customers who are able to come into store by end of play today (4th November) and pay for their console will be able to collect on launch day.
Smyths, a large toy retailer that also stocks video games are have confirmed to some customers on twitter something similar for their instore reservations – though it appears you will be able to pay on the day to collect.
Tweet from Smyths confirms it will offer click and collect for console purchases
Argos have also responded to customers on twitter that they will be able to utilise click and collect from their stores. Simpler for them because many are now part of supermarkets that will stay open.
The result? Yes, the national UK Lockdown may pose a challenge to next generation sales. But many stockists recognise how big a month this will be for revenue. Many are no doubt depending on the cash that the consoles will bring in. We’d advise that anyone with a pre-order contact their stockists as soon as possible. You can do this via available channels and check what to do at launch. At the end of the day, consoles are important but global pandemics tend to top the priority scale.
Are you affect by the national UK Lockdown? Do you think it will affect next generation sales? Let us know in the comments below.
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