Having re-entered the console gaming accessories market recently following a 7-year sabbatical, I felt the need to brush up on my market knowledge by doing a retail tour with our product manager. It was incredibly useful, but, one of the things that struck me was Nintendo Switch accessories… or should I say the lack of them.
Switch is the first Nintendo launch that I’ve seen where there is a really limited choice for gamers when they’re looking to enhance their gaming experience. As you would expect, there is a small offering of products from Official Nintendo- https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Nintendo-Switch/Accessories/Accessories-1183144.html which all look great but, I didn’t find a great deal else.
As a guy who loves the accessories business, my yearning was to find that container loads of units had been delivered and sold through, but, on chatting to store staff the consistent feedback centred around the following; “ We haven’t really had much in mate but, what we have had, we’ve sold and we can’t get any more.” Now clearly that wasn’t the only commentary, but, I’d say 80% of the feedback was, so it got me to thinking…
How does the market view accessories these days? Back in my day, think N64/PS2/Wii/PS3, accessories were more often than not, considered essentials (dictionary entry for essential = absolutely necessary, extremely important)
Why? Because accessories were a part of the consumers gaming experience and it was essential for the retailer to make the margin mix work to supplement hardware and software margins. What also threw me off course during my research phase is, going on in the background, the rubbish news that one of my most respected and highly regarded competitors back in the halcyon days, Mad Catz, announced that it’s closing its doors- https://www.technobuffalo.com/2017/03/31/mad-catz-bankruptcy-shutting-down/
So, at a time when I am looking at developing business in the UK for an important partner, the retail landscape looks challenging and major players in the space are sadly closing. Is this a bad time to be getting back into the sector?
How do I square this all off when our partners Snakebyte – https://mysnakebyte.com/en/main-menu/news.html have just enjoyed record months in Germany, mainly due to Nintendo Switch accessories? I wanted to dig a little deeper.It seems that the challenge has perhaps been a sense of nervousness in and around the UK market about how successful Switch might or might not be, which has possibly led to retailers potentially leaving range selections later than usual. Added to that, the impression that there was a lack of real development from 3rd party vendors and what stock came in to the UK went into the channel and sold. The overriding question from many of the buyers I’ve spoken to seems to be; “ What might we have been able to sell if we’d had stock?”
The upshot of our findings is that we are shipping our range of Snakebyte Nintendo Switch accessories to the UK before E3, rather than after, to help with the demand that is there in the market. If you need support on Switch accessories please contact Robin Wilkes at our office on 01952 288200 or drop him a line on email@example.com and he will be more than happy to help you. You can click on the range details here- https://mysnakebyte.com/en/products/nintendo/switch.html
We are already excited about E3 and can’t wait to meet up with some old pals and share a cold one after a hard day’s graft at the show.