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01.12.10

Former Walmart Manager: “Walmart is De-emphasizing and Taking Shelf Space from the [Xbox] 360”

Posted in Hardware, Microsoft at 12:26 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

XBox
Game over?

Summary: One of the major stores that sell Xbox 360 is shifting focus to Microsoft’s competitors

“Walmart is no longer having ads for XBOX 360 on TV,” said our reader who used to manage a unit at Walmart. He was discussing some of the latest failures of the Xbox 360.

“They’ve switched to pushing Wii,” he argues, “heavily.”

This concurs with a recent report that we privately received from a reader in Europe, regarding European stores.

He continued explaining: “They also took away half of the XBOX 360 $19.99 games, gave it to Wii and Playstation 2/3. Walmart is de-emphasizing and taking shelf space from the 360, this should be a red flag that the 360 is cooked. Walmart sees less value in selling 360 and accessories than PS3 or Wii. They’ve also moved XBOX 360 accessories to the very back, reduced their shelf space, and gave the position and extra space to Wii. Wii accessories are selling so fast they can barely keep them on the shelf.

“I think Walmart knows what’s coming. The announcement that there won’t be another XBOX. That is the vibe I get from this. Microsoft won’t officially talk about it until they clear their current stock and finish buying all the new consoles they’re committed to.

“To announce it right now would destroy all remaining demand and leave them deeply discounting the millions they have left. I’d also guess that XBOX Live will shut down within a year after Microsoft announces that the 360 is the last XBOX. I believe that this will happen before the end of this year.”

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6 Comments

  1. Dennis Murczak said,

    January 12, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    Gravatar

    Saturn (major German electronics chain) has dedicated a whole page of this week’s sales brochure to the PS3 and PS3 games. Coincidence? I’ll look at the console shelf space the next time I visit the local store.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    This may not say much due to channel stuffing (exaggerated demand). If the shelves are empty, it can mean high demand. The best thing to do is watch how much shelf/promotion space is allocated to it.

    No shop likes the handling of returns (RRoD). It’s also bad for its reputation and customer satisfaction/fidelity.

  2. NotZed said,

    January 13, 2010 at 6:49 am

    Gravatar

    Toys R Us here Wii’d all over the shop during the last year, dropping shelf space for everything else significantly. Can’t really say i’ve taken much notice elsewhere though.

    I would be a bit surprised if MS gave up `that easily’ though (not that $US7 000 000 000 is really easy, even for them). It’s such a flag bearer for everything that isn’t Microsoft Windows – which is at a dead-end as far as growth goes.

    To admit failure here would be something really significant. Probably more significant than dropping windows mobile – which has a bleaker future already.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I don’t think they can afford to “drop” Windows Mobile due to strategic importance (shift from desktops to mobility), but they might try to acquire another company with market share (maybe RIM), just as they bought Danger and messed it all up.

  3. Will said,

    January 13, 2010 at 10:20 am

    Gravatar

    I’m no fan of the Xbox, and while the PS3 does seem to be hitting its stride now, how does all this doom and gloom about the Xbox jive with the hype over Natal?

    Natal’s future is still uncertain, and MS is legendary for their hype machine and marketing, but that said, there still seem to be a lot of developers working on it:

    http://kotaku.com/5447026/microsoft-majority-of-worlds-publishers-working-on-natal-games

    (Odds are just as good that Natal will be just another flash in the pan for MS, but we won’t know for certain until it ships)

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Xbox fans are hardcore gamers; this Natal thing (almost a year away!) has little appeal to them.

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