Electronic Arts
EA’s results in the 2nd quarter are good indicator of what’s taking place in the video gaming industry in general and some of their innovations may just work as consumer demand “styles” in gaming have changed. First, EA is down for the second quarter, with a whopping loss of $234 million for the period ending April-June compared with a $95 million loss in the same quarter last year. However this did beat expectations thanks to sales of Sims 3 and EA Sports Active.

One reason why video gaming has taken a dive is because there have not been many new games released in the first half of this year, especially if you compare the releases with the same timeframe in 2008 and the launch of games such as Grand Theft Auto IV and Mario Kart Wii. Overall in video gaming, there has been a 12% decrease in packaged video games in general but online video is on the rise. This is something we’ve noted in our video gaming data for several years now, especially among younger demographics getting into gaming, according to our North American Youth Culture Study.

Interestingly, EA is moving into selling more virtual items in games like The Sims 3 and subscription-based online games. As we’ve noted before, in China, one way that online games and social networks make money is by selling subscriptions and micro payments for additions to games and avatars.

EA, for example, announced that they are launching Tiger Online, and more web-based games in the 3rd quarter. According to EA Sports President, Peter Moore, “We have got other franchises in development, much more to come on this.” He was talking about online gaming.

Meanwhile H&M’s July 2009 results came in and sales in local currencies including VAT increased by 7 per cent compared to July previous year. The number of stores amounted to 1,828 on 31 July 2009 versus 1,601 on 31 July 2008.

Urban Outfitters
Urabn Outfitters has been bucking trends by keeping some prices the same and disocunting other. Their mix of merchandise and brands have also kept them doing OK, and now, they’re workong on a “new concept incubator” which means they’ve got some cash to keep the machine running. However Urban Outfitter and Anthropologie stores, reported a 6% same store sales decline.

Plans are to expand 50 new stores in Euorpe and Asia -something that many stores and brands in the youth culture fashion arena from the USA are considering since saturation points are being hit here.

More Retail Round-up Results
The world’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart reported a surprising 1.5% drop in same store sales at U.S. Wal-Mart stores. That is only the second drop in almost 10 years.

Target also reported a drop of 6.2%–which is another unprecedented result for this discount retailer. What’s this mean when Wal-Mart and Target are declining (even Home Depot reported an 8.5% drop)? Consumer spending is even tighter than many financial analysts predicted.

Nordstrom’s reported 9.8% decrease, but less in their discount store, Nordstrom’s Rack, of course, and Sak’s was down a whopping 16.3%.

Volcom’s 2nd quarter financial results dropped from $72.5 million go $54.2 million. This indicates overall revenues dropping 25% for the quarter (not month). What was interesting to see with Volcom’s report is that they continue to decrease sales to PacSun, once their most important retailer (and still a very important venue for them), now down 23.7%. By diversifying and becoming less dependent on one retailer, Volcom has taken a hit, but then again, PacSun has been struggling too.

Total revenues for Electric, owned by Volcom, was also down from $6.4 million to $4.7 million.