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Wal-Mart ranked last on video game prices

A survey of video game prices found Amazon.com came out on top, with customers at Wal-Mart paying the most for their games.
/ Source: Reuters

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world’s largest retailer, has built its reputation as the discounting price-leader on a broad range of products, but a new report suggest it is being undercut by rivals when it comes to video games.

Piper Jaffray video game analyst Tony Gikas released a survey on Wednesday showing that Wal-Mart ranked as the most expensive overall of seven retailers based on the price for a market basket of 30 game titles.

The same survey also found that U.S. retailers in general were not discounting video game titles in a bid to grab business.

For the 30 titles in the survey, which were a mix of older and newer games on console and handheld platforms, Wal-Mart’s total price was $1,231.76, nearly 9 percent, or $97.25, more expensive than the overall low-price leader, Amazon.com Inc.

“We haven’t had ample opportunity to review this survey, however as a company that brought $12 billion in ... savings to our customers last year alone, we find this hard to believe,” Wal-Mart spokeswoman Karen Burk said. “But given our pledge to everyday low prices, we’ll look into this.”

Amazon was followed, in order, by Best Buy Co. Inc., Target Corp., specialty game retailers GameStop Corp. and Electronics Boutique Holdings Corp. and Toys R Us Inc.

Gikas also found that at GameStop and Electronics Boutique, used games sold at discount of more than 16 percent to new video games.

“According to our survey, retailers pick their spots and mark down very few games,” Gikas said in a note accompanying the survey. “With a retail mark-up of only 20-23 percent, retailers appear unwilling to sacrifice profits on video game software ... yet.