National video game retailer GAME aims to close 40 of its UK outlets as part of what it called a “store rationalisation programme”.
GAME served notice on 14 sites yesterday (January 9), bringing its total of confirmed store closures to 27.
The retailer intends to serve notice on 13 more sites in the near future. Before the planned closures, GAME had 259 outlets and 21 Belong eSports arenas in the UK.
Here’s everything we know so far:
Which shops are closing?
The full list of 40 stores planned for closure is not yet known, but here are all the stores we know have been served notice so far:
- Glasgow Fort
- Norwich Chapelfield
A GAME spokesperson 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.”
There is no word from GAME on how many jobs could be impacted by the move.
“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,” continued the spokesperson.
Which other shops could be closing?
GAME also noted that the sites it had served notice on so far impacted “outlets owned mostly by Intu and New River.”
Rumours of store closures first began to circulate in October 2019, when the company initiated a review of its property portfolio, bringing in property consultancy firm CBRE as advisers.
CBRE’s head of national retail agency James Keany noted that GAME’s stores have an average unexpired lease term of “less than 0.8 years”, which makes for a “significant opportunity to restructure the current portfolio.”
It remains to be seen which other GAME stores may face closure, but CBRE say this “will depend on negotiations with landlords.”
The consultancy also said location and market will determine whether more GAME or Belong stores face potential closure.
When are the shops closing?
At the time of writing, there’s no known time frame as to when the shops served notice by GAME so far could be closing.
GAME has had a rough time in recent years in the face of an increasingly tough video game market.
With online retailers able to undercut them at seemingly every point, GAME entered administration in March 2012, after major suppliers – including Nintendo, Electronic Arts and Capcom – refused to supply their latest products due to concerns over GAME’s creditworthiness.
The firm has been wholly owned by the Frasers Group since June 2019 after a buyout by Sports Direct for £52 million.