We’ve heard the very bad news this morning that major high street videogame retailer GAME is set to close 43 of it’s stores and as a result leave 247 employees out of work. Of the 43 stores, 12 will be actual GAME stores, 6 will be Gamestation and 25 will be Debenhams Concession stores. The news comes after what was believed to be a particularly slack Christmas period for the retailer with collective sales down some 18%. The Group said that the results were reflective of the current gaming market.
A Game spokesman stressed the closures affected only “a small percentage of the UK Group” and said management “will do our utmost to seek opportunities for all affected colleagues”. The spokesperson also added thast;
“We regularly review our entire store portfolio, including our concessions, to maximise the opportunities to reach customers, while also ensuring that the business is running as effectively as possible. The majority of the identified sites are located close to another one of our stores, and we will help each customer affected by a closure to transfer to their nearest store, as well as our online offerings.”
“We will provide extensive support to the teams in each store. However, with deep regret, we have had to offer redundancy to 247 employees. We will do our utmost to redeploy roles if possible, and have started consulting with all affected employees in the 43 sites.”
It looks like your local videogame store could well be in danger and with online retailers like the Hut Group reporting a massive 188% rise in orders in the run up to Christmas 2009 (by comparision to Christmas 2008), these closures could just be the very beginning.
No word yet if any of these stores are Irish stores, but we will let you know when we hear. The Gaming Liberty is the product of two former GAME employees so it’s always sad to hear this kind of news. We wish everyone affected all the best for the future.