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April 2014 Retro Gaming Article


April 22, 2014 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Rumors of Sears clearing out older Wii U Nintendoland bundles for $99 swept around the net

Sears is a retail dinosaur which is a shame. Their inability to modernize and regulate inventory often leads to awesome prices, alas, dinosaurs - retail and otherwise - don't last long and eventually fade away. I often find excess product in their various departments that they seemingly can't get rid of. Their shelf-clearing strategy is to drop prices to ridiculous lows. I know they're on their way "out", but I love the prices I sometimes find there.

Wii U at Sears Over the past 2 days articles from reliable sources began corroborating stories of Sears selling the older Wii U Nintendoland bundle for $99. This is usually the sort of idiocy I roll my eyes at every April first, but no one is three weeks late to that party.

Sears had a $99 Wii U Nintendoland blowout!
The Nintendoland bundle was replaced with the newer Mario/Luigi games bundled with the 32GB Wii U console. With that in mind, it made sense that Sears was up to their old trick of discounting way below rational pricing to clear out inventory.

So off to Sears I went. I really wanted to call first, but I wouldn't want to miss out on a great Wii U price simply because some phone rep was too lazy to "really" go look at their inventory.

Online there was some confusion about the pricing. Many were saying it was $99, but images of receipts seemed to indicate that the discount was actually $199. Some folks explained that the units were marked at $199 but rang up at the register for only $99. Hard to say if this is part of Sears' antiquated operations or there's some discrepancy in pricing as stores get around to altering their SKUs.

Quest for a Wii U

With adequate credit and a CD-R full of BabyMetal I headed to the mall. Part of Sears' "we won't leave the 90's" mentality is the internal maze. Unlike Wal-Mart where you can traverse it's enormity to get to the tube sock aisle, Sears forces you to walk through every department.

Wii U Gamepad With Electronics in the center of their retail trap, it didn't matter if I entered through toddler-wear or women's intimates, I still had to meander through the Craftsman tools and a Housewares section full of bread-makers and bag-less vacuum cleaners.

In the Electronics department - where I've found excellent deals in the past - I spied a small glass case containing all their consoles. Yes, one small case held a few Xbones, PS4s and Wii Us. I lured a rep away from the unbranded tablets and asked him to sell me a Wii U. The box in front was the newer bundle, but I had high hopes, and anxiety, that one of the other boxes would be a $99 ticket to play. No such luck. When I inquired about the Nintendoland bundle he asked if I had called yesterday.

Sears Video Arcade That said it all. He told me they get weekly deliveries of a few systems and he cited having just received 3 PS4s - yes... Three of them. This spoke volumes to Sears' inability to compete and made me wonder how this could be the same aggressive company that insisted on their own model of the Atari 2600 back in the day.

Sears bought the rights to sell the Atari 2600 in their stores and sold them between 1977 and 1983. They changed the name to Sears Video Arcade and revamped the packaging as a Sears brand. Underneath the marketing was Atari's VCS CX2600 in both 4 and 6-switch models.

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