The demise of GAME Group
277 stores closed. 2,100 job losses. The beginning of the end for high-street videogame retail may well have arrived.
GAME Group have officially filed for administration and their GAME and GameStation stores have already begun closing several loss-generating outlets in an attempt to appease their spiralling credit ratings and increasing losses. Of the 609 stores currently open throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland, just under half of GAME Group’s retailers will be dropping their shutters for the final time within days.
The intense cost-cutting measures have already begun. All GAME and GameStation gift cards being suspended, meaning any customer that received a £20 voucher for GAME last month will find themselves out-of-pocket. Those members of staff who have lost their jobs have been told they will receive no redundancy money from the company and have been told by administrators to apply for state-funded redundancy.
The mess that currently surrounds GAME Group is a genuine shame to see, in particular for those who will be losing their jobs as a result of the ongoing financial woes of the UK’s leading videogame retailer. I have written two articles on how the industry’s war on second-hand games could lead to the end of high-street retail but in this instance, GAME Group’s troubles cannot be blamed purely on Online Passes.
The giant shift toward “digital gaming” and downloadable content has had a great effect on a company unwilling or unable to fully embrace the new medium in some form. Whether GAME Group could have done something to prevent this unfortunate turn of events is unclear, as is whether or not the brand will survive. What is clear is that high-street videogame retail is struggling to survive in the Internet age.
The loss of 277 retailers and 2,100 jobs will attest to that.