Nearly half of Game stores to close

 

Almost half the stores run by collapsed retailer Game are to be closed this week, administrators said today, triggering 2,104 job losses.

Administrators at PwC said 277 stores in the UK and Ireland are to shut but the remaining 333 stores, which employ 2,814 staff, will continue to trade while they try to find a buyer for the remainder of the business.

The UK operations of the retailer, which trades as Game and Gamestation, collapsed into administration after it suffered dire trading in recent months, while some suppliers refused to stock the business.

Mike Jervis, joint administrator and partner at PwC, said: "The recent job losses are regrettable but will place the company in a stronger position while we explore opportunities to conclude a sale.

"My team and I will be doing all we can to help the affected employees at this difficult time."

The group's lenders were reportedly working on plans to buy a slimmed-down version of the retailer out of administration.

A consortium of existing banks led by state-backed Royal Bank of Scotland is understood to be among three potential bidders, along with American rival Gamestop and OpCapita, which recently acquired consumer electronics business Comet.

Mr Jervis said he believes that there is still room for a specialist video games retailer in the UK despite the difficult conditions it has suffered in recent months and remains hopeful the business can be sold as a going concern.

Game, which also employs about 385 staff at its headquarters in Basingstoke, Hampshire, last week said it planned to appoint an administrator, having admitted there was no value left in the company.

The chain's demise follows a string of profit warnings and the failure of nervous suppliers, including Electronic Arts and Nintendo, to go on providing new games.

The retailer had a £21 million rent bill due yesterday and faces a £12 million wage bill this weekend, although PwC is expected to honour any wages owed. There is also £10 million in VAT and £40 million owed to suppliers.

Game suffered a dismal Christmas and was later forced to ask suppliers for more generous trading terms.

But many stopped supplying it with new releases, such as Mass Effect 3 and Street Fighter X Tekken, leaving fans disappointed and adding to the group's trading woes.

Game agreed fresh lending facilities with banks last month and began seeking access to alternative sources of funding earlier this month.

The group has already signalled that losses for the year to the end of January are likely to be around £18 million.

PA

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in