EA Sports VP Brand Marketing, Chris Erb revealed the news in an interview with Forbes recently. Erb dropped the bombshell that construction on the first EA Sports retail store has already begun and will open this fall in the Charlotte, NC, airport. It is the first of what EA Sports hopes will be three new retails stores it plans to open in the next year. The goal is to create a place where people will be able to interact and buy their favorite EA SPORTS games.
EA Sports has some of the most popular sports gaming brands in the world with Madden and FIFA but I don’t know if they are the kind of things you can build entire retail chains around and have it be a model that is sustainable. They could have cool things in them, but why would gamers go there to purchase Madden for instance instead of Gamestop or some other retailer. I like that they are continuing to try to come up with new and innovative places to take the brand but I don’t think this one is going to fly. People love EA Sports games, but I don’t think they care enough to want to visit an actual EA Sports store on a regular basis.
I would bet that the performance of the first store will cause EA Sports not to even bother building a second one but who knows they might surprise me. What do you think, would you visit and buy from an EA Sports retail store on a REGULAR basis?