Best Buy’s PlayStation Release Draws Long Lines Across the U.S.
(Bloomberg) -- It’s beginning to look a lot like Black Friday at Best Buy Co.
In scenes reminiscent of the year’s biggest shopping day, customers flocked to its stores Thursday as the electronics retailer restocked several of the past year’s hottest video-game consoles. The move, announced by Best Buy a day earlier, involved “limited quantities” of Sony Corp.’s PlayStation 5 and Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox Series X for customers who showed up early to get a ticket.
The products were one of the hot items of last year’s holiday season and are poised to be a top-seller again, as persistently low stock has kept demand high. The problem, underpinned in part by pandemic-driven challenges, has been exacerbated by online scalpers, who use technology to buy the consoles and then resell them at a higher price.
These bots monitor e-commerce platforms for changes in inventory, automatically placing orders in seconds when devices become available. That makes in-person releases like Best Buy’s an opportunity for average buyers to get their hands on products they otherwise couldn’t.
Console manufacturers have relied on scarcity to maintain demand, releasing only a handful of units at a time. Reports indicated that some Best Buy locations had only 50 units of each console available. Best Buy has not immediately confirmed.
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