When There's A Wii, There's a Way to Profit

GameStop announces big profits

Americans may be spending a lot less these days and many retailers are hurting, but one business seems immune from the economic slump.

Grapevine-based GameStop Corp. announced Thursday fourth-quarter profits of $232 million, a 22 percent spike over the previous year.

Last year, sales soared 24 percent to a whopping $8.8 billion.

With 6,200 stores in 17 countries, GameStop has become the giant of video game retailers, gobbling up competitors, expanding in Europe and opening hundreds of new stores this year.

“It’s good value for the money and good service as well,” said Olga Townsend, a customer at the GameStop store in Fort Worth’s Hulen Mall.

"People still have free cash flow in their pocket and they enjoy video games," said shopper Matt Jackson.

Much of its business comes from buying used games and videos and selling them back to customers at higher profits.

Its used business is so profitable, other companies such as Amazon.com and Best Buy are trying to cash in.

But GameStop’s top executive dismissed the competition and predicted another record year this year.

“Looking at 2009, we are confident in our ability to increase sales and earnings, generate significant cash, advance market share, and maintain a financially sound balance sheet,” said Chief Executive Officer Daniel DeMatteo.

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