GameStop Faces Fresh Headwind With Walmart Jumping Into Collectibles

(Bloomberg) -- GameStop Corp., many consumers’ go-to for classics like Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda, may continue to struggle this year as Walmart Inc. wades into a lesser known product line: collectibles.

Walmart announced it is rolling out its own dedicated section of “collectibles,” essentially, pop culture merchandise. The items will hit shelves the week of October 15, just in time for Halloween. The major retailer is partnering with Loot Crate, a collectibles subscription service, McFarlane Toys and CultureFly. They’ll also sell Funko merchandise -- an area where GameStop is counted as one of the toy manufacturer’s top retailers.

“Gamestop will no doubt remain the destination for collectibles but we don’t see how this announcement doesn’t hurt growth and could likely be a headwind for overall traffic and game sales,” wrote Bank of America’s Curtis Nagle in an analyst note. GameStop shares are down nearly 17 percent this year.

“This is not the first time Walmart has tried to encroach on GameStop’s territory,” Nagle said. The retailer tried, unsuccessfully, to build a used gaming business several times.

GameStop arguably revolutionized the video game industry when it launched its buy-sell-trade program in 2000.

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