Pokémon GO is either the best thing to happen to mobile gaming and in-store foot traffic or the worst version of millennial device addiction — depending on who you’re talking to. All those people on their phones have to have some impact on the wider retail industry, though, don’t they?
Reuters is reporting a resounding yes. Since the game launched about two weeks ago, AT&T, GameStop and RadioShack have all reported increases in sales for mobile battery packs and phone cases with built-in chargers. For GameStop, this boost was to the tune of 45 percent, and it was 50 percent for RadioShack. Players have clearly noticed what a gas-guzzler the Pokémon GO app can be. It requires not only a data signal and location tracking, but the screen must be on for the game to collect info. And, it seems, retailers are happy to step up and fill the gap.
It’s a development that Michael Tatelman, chief revenue and marketing officer at RadioShack, didn’t see coming but is glad nonetheless. However, what goes up must come down, and Tatelman admitted that he and others have already begun to wonder how long this craze can last.
“There is something great about ‘go in and chase this monster into your store,'” Tatelman told Reuters. “The question is: Will it stay compelling?”
Aside from mobile battery packs, GameStop has also made a killing on Pokémon-branded merchandise. Across all its stores, sales of Pokémon merchandise were up 115 percent. However, in stores that were designated as PokéStops or gyms — places of interest in the game that attract players in droves — sales were up 133 percent.