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Argos: Fortnite effect sees gaming product sales soar

Retailer launches ‘Year in Tech’ to see which trends have swept the nation in last 12 months.

The ‘Fortnite effect’ has helped sales of gaming products soar over the past year, according to a new report from Argos, with the retailer predicting that Fortnite fever will peak this Christmas.

Argos has released its first Year in Tech report, which reveals how the nation has shopped for tech over a 12-month period and showcasing what’s hot and what’s not in the world of technology.

Over the past 12 months, sales of headsets, gaming chairs and controllers have rocketed (by 65%, 25% and 20% year-on-year respectively) as gamers jump on the Fortnite bandwagon.

The licensing programme for Fortnite – handled by IMG – is well underway, with a raft of licensees launching product in time for Christmas.

Gaming laptops have also soared by 62% since the beginning of the year.

Argos analysed a year’s worth of sales data to uncover the trends that have influenced UK shoppers’ buying behaviour.

In the battle of the consoles, Xbox has shown the fastest rate of growth with Argos sales of the Xbox One X rising by 22% this year, against an 11% rise for PS4s, which remains the overall market leader, and a 9% rise for Nintendo Switch consoles.

Argos experts also link the boost in sales of all consoles to the Fortnite phenomenon and suggest that Xbox’s dominance could be down to Microsoft boasting the most recent console launch: the One X hit shelves back in November.

“It’s incredible to see how much Fortnite has influenced our customers and inspired a new generation of gamers,” said Nick Hill, head of video gaming buying at Argos. “Based on previous gaming phenomena like Pokémon Go two years ago, we predict that Fortnite fever will peak this Christmas as more of our customers spend their free time immersing themselves in the game.

“The Nintendo Switch continues to be a big seller for us, with sales up nine per cent year-on-year, as it allows customers to play games like Fortnite on-the-go or plug it into a TV at home.”

The data also found that gen X (45-54 year olds) buys the most tech (23∞), closely followed by baby boomers (over 55s) and midults (35-44 year olds at 22%) with millennials spending the least on tech (14% for 18–24 year-olds and 19% for 25-34 year olds).

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