NEWS - Wednesday, September 5, 2001


Toys R Us Sold out!!!

A news report on Yahoo stated that retailer Toys R Us Inc. said on Wednesday that its online store sold out its first batch of XBox game units in 30 minutes on Tuesday. Toysrus.com and its online partner Amazon.com Inc. began preselling the XBox this week, but only in a bundle for $200 above the suggested retail price.

A spokesman for Toysrus.com said that its entire batch sold out online in about 30 minutes, but would not disclose exactly how many such bundled units had been sold. He said the next pre-sale offer opens Sept. 11.

Toysrus.com said on Tuesday that the console will only be available bundled with the accessories, and not as a stand-alone unit. The forthcoming GameCube from Nintendo Co. Ltd. will also be sold as a bundle only, she said.

``We have historically noticed that consumers prefer to buy consoles this way,’’ said Jeanne Meyer, vice president of corporate communications for Toys R Us. Consumers save on sales tax and shipping and the company saves on processing and inventory costs.

Specialty retailer Electronics Boutique also began taking XBox pre-orders through its Web site this week. Those pre-orders are also limited to bundle-only packages, with prices in a range of $499 to $724.99.

Barnes & Noble Inc. subsidiary GameStop is also selling bundles through its online store, priced in a range of $599 to $1199. One of its five packages is also sold out.

While Meyer said that Toysrus.com sells consoles in bundled form by choice, some press reports have suggested that Microsoft has linked unit allotments and marketing funds to retailers’ willingness to sell bundled consoles and give the XBox certain amounts of shelf space.

Microsoft spokesman James Bernard said the company is giving marketing dollars to retailers that sell specified pre-sale bundles, but he denied that unit allotments are also tied in and said such promotions will end once the console goes on sale at stores.

``A lot of retailers on day one will be selling the system stand-alone for $299,’’ he said.

Accorinding to Bernard, the required bundle package has to include one Microsoft game and two games by outside developers, and one peripheral device. Retailers that sell that bundle get to display a logo saying they are a certified XBox merchant, in addition to the extra marketing support.

``It’s also a way to limit the number of units that are out there in advance,’’ Bernard said.

Thanks DR.J for the heads up.
Source: http://www.xboxaddict.com/

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