Opinion: Nintendo Have Poor Inventory Management

November 10, 2016

Today the Nintendo Classic Mini: Nintendo Entertainment System was officially released, but many gamers have not been able to find the must have item. Retailers EB Games and JB Hi-Fi exhausted all stock on pre-orders alone, while Target and Big W sold out within seconds of opening their doors this morning.

I personally had the Big W website crash on me this morning when adding the Mini NES to my cart, and my partner struggled to even get that far. Upon a quick trip to Target, people were being turned away at the door. Vooks reports that owner Daniel Vuckovic lined up at a local Target one hour before opening, only to miss out due to the store not being organised. The store did not have a proper “line and ticket” system; instead letting people stampede into the store and even allowed staff to purchase the Mini NES in front of everyone.

A quick search on Ebay and Gumtree reveals plenty of scalpers selling the Mini NES for over double its suggested retail cost. It’s sickening and has left many fans questioning why Nintendo has had continuous stock issues in recent times. Of particular note was Nintendo’s poor management of initial Amiibo stock and the Pokemon Go Plus accessory. The limited release of these products encourages scalpers to bulk buy and then resell for a staggering profit.


It has been known for several months now that various stores worldwide had exhausted their pre-order allocation, so it begs to question why Nintendo wasn’t able to secure more inventory. Take a page out of Sony’s book – they knew PlayStation VR was going to sell out at launch, but they also promised a second shipment. Retailers were actively taking pre-orders for the second shipment months before launch.

Only today did Nintendo Australia announce a second shipment was coming in December. What took Nintendo so long to confirm a second shipment was coming? It’s understandable they may not be able to confirm a shipment date right away, but it’s poor form to leave fans guessing if this is their only chance to purchase the product. Nintendo is notorious for being a secretive company, but when they’re unnecessarily stressing out fans it just isn’t good for business. I have friends that gave up on collecting all the Amiibo due to Nintendo’s inventory issues, which in turn is lost revenue for the company.

It’s interesting to note that at the time of writing not a single retailer is taking online pre-orders for the second Mini NES shipment, despite Nintendo advising fans to ask their local retailer for more information. This suggests retailers may have been notified at the last minute, though this is pure speculation on my part.


I am a massive Nintendo fan but enough is enough. For an item to sell out mere seconds upon release and, at the time, have no confirmation of a second shipment is just poor form. It leaves fans disappointed and reflects negatively on the company. Nintendo needs to get their act together, otherwise their business might continue to fall on hardships well into the Nintendo Switch’s lifespan.