Retailers suffer again over Nintendo’s big Wii shortage problem

By Chris Nicholls

SYDNEY: Stores around Australia are experiencing a Wii shortage for the second Christmas in a row, as Nintendo struggles to meet demand for the console, despite claims they have increased production.

Benedict Brook, media relations manager at Woolworths, said the machines were "flying off the shelves” at their Big W and Dick Smith Electronics stores, and the group had trouble supplying more.

Current.com.au contacted individual Target and Electronics Boutique (EB) stores nationwide, with EB stores in both central Sydney and Melbourne sold out. Western Australia also had supply issues and staff in all stores claimed there was no prospect of easy re-supply before Christmas. Target fared little better, with stores in each state sold out. One Brisbane staff member said supply was “terrible.” The only exception was Geraldton WA, where staff said the machines sold out quickly but they received new stock within 24 hours.

Myer Sydney had also sold out, with most NSW stores likely to have none left, according to the staff member contacted.

David Jones head office was unable to comment as their spokesperson for the category was away on holiday during the all-important lead up to Christmas.

For an unknown reason, Electronics Boutique’s Queensland stores had no stock issues, with no real supply problems according to a staff member at the Brisbane City store.

Nintendo Australia public relations coordinator Heather Murphy  said they were getting more stock in, but confirmed the company was experiencing supply difficulties.

“To be honest, with DS and Wii, we’re actually making more than we’ve ever made before … it’s just one of those things where they’re selling really fast,” she said.

However, she said Nintendo would supply more prior to Christmas, quoting managing director Rose Lappin, who said in an interview with The Australian newspaper yesterday that the company would ship 20,000 more consoles in the run up to Christmas.

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