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Dip for physical entertainment market ahead of Prime Day boost

Lack of big name music, gaming and film releases cited for 19% decline to June 30.

The physical entertainment market declined by 19% for the 12 weeks to June 30, with retailers feeling the effects of falling shopper numbers and a lack of big name gaming, film and music releases.

With Amazon Prime Day sales still to be accounted for and new consoles due later this year, the market continues to depend on gift-hunting shoppers and benefited from the £24 million worth of sales generated by Father’s Day this period, reported Kantar Worldpanel.

Online retailers performed well again this quarter, with Amazon accounting for 25% of all spend and growing share in each category.

The mint game market was impacted by fewer big name releases this quarter and sales declined by 14% compared with this time last year.

Online, Argos attracted more first-hand game shoppers this period while Amazon and specialist mint game stores have seen numbers fall.

The Nintendo Switch continues to outperform its rivals and sales of its games increased by 6% this period, including 40,000 buyers of the most popular title, Super Smash Bro Ultimate.

While Amazon continues to dominate the physical music market – accounting for 24% of sales – there are signs of a resurgence among independent stores which have increased sales by 14% this period. In a continuing trend, vinyl is increasingly popular with nostalgic shoppers and performed particularly well within these independent outlets with sales rising 9% compared with 5% across the category.

Going up against the hugely successful release of The Greatest Showman this time last year, fewer new titles this period accounted for £22 million of the physical video market’s losses. The most popular release this period, Aquaman, attracted 360,000 buyers – compared to The Greatest Showman’s 800,000 buyers.

Overall sales fell 28% as the market also felt the effects of HMV store closures, but 4k DVDs showed resilience and achieved 1% growth.

“Amazon and eBay are increasingly popular with shoppers wanting to get the latest releases without leaving their homes – particularly if a traditional retailer has disappeared from their local high street,” said Claire McClelland, consumer specialist at Kantar. “Amazon will be expecting this trend to continue as a third of shoppers planning to shop during its Amazon Prime Day were intending to buy physical entertainment, compared with 42% who had their eye on electronics.

“However, if last year is anything to go by, success for Amazon doesn’t inevitably mean bad news for the high street. People who bought something from the online giant during the week of Amazon Prime Day in 2018 spent 40% more on the high street than the average shopper during those days – demonstrating the value of those shoppers to bricks and mortar retailers as well.”

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