Mobile phone retailer Phones 4U is making a play for the games sector by launching a web site devoted to games and consoles.

Games 4U, which is also accessible via the Phones 4U site, offers the latest games releases and a back catalogue of titles. It also sells consoles including Wii, Xbox and PlayStation.

The site offers discounts of up to 50 per cent to Phones 4U customers and other customers can buy after registering.

The Phones 4U venture has been launched in partnership with electricals and games e-tailer, which provides a white-label service to Phones 4U. Phones 4U brands the site, but it is operated by

Nathan Milnes, who is responsible for marketing at Phones 4U Direct, declined to comment on the commercial side of the venture. Games 4U shares the same company registration number as

He said the initiative formed part of the “development of our broader communications and entertainment solutions offering”. He added that it was too early to say if it would launch other product categories or extend the offer into stores.

The move mirrors the strategy adopted by Carphone Warehouse, which is expanding beyond its core offer to attract customers.
Phones 4U said it launched Games 4U to tap the growing games sector and coincide with the key pre-Christmas trading period. However, despite proving a resilient sector during the downturn, there are signs that games sales are weakening.

Market leader Game reported group like-for-like growth slowed over the 18 weeks to November 29. The sector also faces a dearth of hardware or software releases next year and is contending with the fall-out of the administration of Woolworths and its entertainment wholesale arm EUK.
Milnes said: “The strength and relevance of the Phones 4U brand, next-day delivery, massive choice and huge discounts are sure to make this a success.”