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GameStop holiday sales down 4.6 percent from 2011 to 2012

Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

GameStop's holiday season sales totaled $2.88 billion globally, a 4.6 percent drop from the same period in 2011, the company announced today.

The video game retail giant announced results not for a full quarter, but for what it defined as the "holiday period," the nine-week span from Oct. 27, 2012, through Dec. 29, 2012.

Comparable store sales were down 4.4 percent — the decrease was worse internationally than in the U.S. — and GameStop is lowering its comparable store sales guidance for both the fourth fiscal quarter (to a range between a 7 percent drop and a 4 percent drop) and the entire fiscal year (to a range between a 9 percent drop and a 7.5 percent drop).

GameStop CEO Paul Raines characterized the holiday sales as "mixed results," attributing the performance to a "decline in store traffic" that offset the company's "successful Wii U launch, strong digital growth and continued momentum in the mobile space."

GameStop sold 320,000 Wii U consoles worldwide during the period, but that was not high enough to counter an overall year-over-year decrease in hardware sales of 2.7 percent. And sales of new video game software were down 5.1 percent over 2011, a decline GameStop also blamed on lower retail visits by customers. The retailer also saw a 15.6 percent drop in sales of used games, which occurred because of "fewer new titles released throughout 2012 and less promotional activity," according to GameStop.

On the other hand, GameStop reported a 40 percent jump in digital sales, and a 20.5 percent increase globally in e-commerce sales, compared to 2011.

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