According to a report from Eurogamer, UK-based bricks-and-mortar game retail store GAME intends to close 40 of their stores. GAME currently has a reported 259 stores (and 21 Belong eSports arenas) throughout the UK. The full list of stores isn’t available currently. However, Eurogamer did note a number of locations that will be affected.
Stores in Mansfield, Canterbury, Watford, Leicester, and Glasgow Fort have all been served a closure notice. A further 14 sites receiving their notices earlier this week. GAME is calling the series of closures a “store rationalisation programme”.
A spokesperson for GAME said;
“We are working closely with landlords throughout the UK to ensure that we do not have to vacate the 40 locations which could lead to a number of job losses. However, we are facing a challenging retail market and GAME with its extensive retail footprint, needs to restructure and landlords need to work with us in setting realistic, fair rents”.Eurogamer
Recent years have seen GAME’s operations severely hampered. As a result, GAME reported called in CBRE, a property consultant firm, to plan out the retailers future. GamesIndustry.biz noted how CBRE’s critique revealed many stores have “an average unexpired lease term of less than 0.8 years”. CBRE also commented saying how this state of the business offers a “significant opportunity to restructure the current portfolio”.
“GAME Needs to Future-Proof”
A spokesperson from Sports Direct, GAME’s parent company, stated;
“To get the GAME retail and Belong concepts right will also require a higher degree of flexibility than has proven possible under the current collaboration agreement.
In a challenged market, the collaboration agreement simply does not go far enough to address the issues GAME faces as a standalone business.
The structural and escalating shift to digital gaming and game streaming will have a significant impact on physical games retailers. The retail market is littered with examples of businesses that failed to adapt quickly enough to changing consumer demands.
Sports Direct believes that GAME needs to diversify and future-proof its product mix if it is to keep up with technological developments and ensure that it does not become irrelevant to customers.”
Unfortunately, it was only really a matter of time before bricks-and-mortar retailers fell off the face of the high-street. In the UK alone, we’ve already seen Grainger Games shutter. Before them, we had Gamestation. Ironically, despite being bought out by GAME, they were closed down too. Obviously, the potential loss of jobs is devastating, but it is, unfortunately, a sign of the times.
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