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Electronics Boutique Pulls Out of NPD

18 Jan, 2002 By: John Gaudiosi

Port Washington, NY-based NPD, which tracks video game hardware and software sales for consoles through NPDFunworld and for PC software through NPD Intelect, sent a memo to its subscribers Jan. 14 announcing that video game specialty retailer Electronics Boutique will stop providing weekly video game sales data to NPD's video game sales tracking reports effective April 6. EB will continue to provide monthly game data to NPD.

EB's decision follows Wal-Mart's complete withdrawal last July from providing NPD any video game sales data. Both retailers felt that competing retailers were gaining too much information from the videogame sales data they provided to NPD. Wal-Mart accounts for approximately 20 percent of video game sales in the U.S. and EB accounted for 12 percent of Xbox sales, about 12 percent of PlayStation 2 sales and 5 percent of Gamecube sales in 2001, according to analysts.

In the same memo, NPD also announced that new retailers The Wiz, Boscov's and Pamida will begin providing weekly data and monthly subscribers Sears and Kmart will begin providing weekly data this year. Analysts don't expect these retailers to make up for the losses of Wal-Mart and EB, but NPD has its own system for making up the deficit.

"We have a preapproved online consumer panel of 750,000 members across the country that routinely answer URL surveys on video game buying habits, including consumers who shop at Wal-Mart," said Ilene Haase, director of toys and video games at NPD Funworld. "We take this and couple it with information we gather from manufacturers and other game industry sources to create a total picture of projected U.S. video game sales."

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