March 7th, 2007, 00:03 Posted By: wraggster
UK consumers are still struggling to pick up Nintendo Wiis, IGN has discovered - despite the fact it was launched in Europe three months ago. High street retailers, including GAME and HMV, have both reported short supplies of the machine, with any limited stock they do get selling out in a matter of hours.
"Wiis are like gold dust", said one store manager, who admitted that many customers queue outside every morning in the hope that new stock arrives. In fact, of the 20 retailers we contacted all across country, only one - Toys R Us in Bristol - had Wii consoles left in stock. All other shops had completely sold out and most had no idea when more consoles would be available, with a handful of retailers still trying to fulfill launch pre-orders three months on.
However, by far the most worrying aspect of our investigation was the fact that some retailers had been seriously deprived of stock, with one store manager telling us they'd only received two deliveries since launch and that their last delivery contained a meagre five units. Even those shops fortunate enough to get regular shipments have complained they only get a maximum of a dozen units at a time and that any new stock has "sold out within minutes".
Commenting on the shortage, a spokesperson for Nintendo UK said, "The sheer level of demand for Wii over the launch period was something that no one could have anticipated. While we were certainly very well prepared for a good launch the level of demand we saw, and continue to see in the New Year, remains very high". However, Nintendo believes the shortage is only a short-term problem and claims it's addressing stock issues: "We are continuing to make multiple and regular shipments across the UK to ensure that we keep up with demand".
Meanwhile, Fiona Haldane from GAME remained positive about the demand for Wii: "We are still seeing a huge customer demand for the Nintendo Wii and as soon as stores receive stock they are flying off the shelves within minutes. The console appeals to so many customers and has expanded the gaming market to a new consumer. As soon as we receive stock in we want to sell it and are working closely with Nintendo to ensure we satisfy the customer demand."
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