Videogame retailers are not being spared from the steady decline of the UK's high street. GAME, a major UK games retailer has reported a planned closure of 40 stores nationwide in what it calls a "Store Rationalisation Programme". The closures are seemingly determined by unsustainably high rents, with the company attempting to negotiate "fair" rents with landlords and ultimately closing the stores in which these negotiations are unsuccessful.
After going into administration in 2012, the UK retailer GAME was acquired by OpCapita and continued to trade under new ownership. Despite OpCapita's attempts to breathe new life into the struggling business, it only seems to have bought a few extra years, at least if these recent reports are any sort of indicator.
Many of the 40 GAME locations have not yet been informed of their imminent closures, among the ones that have been served their notice of closure are: Derby, Norwich, Lakeside, Canterbury, Mansfield, Bexleyheath, Watford and Leicester.
A spokesperson from GAME had the following to say regarding the closures and loss of jobs: "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.”
Taken alongside reports of Christmas 2019 being the weakest for the UK high street on record, it becomes clear that these are dire times for physical retailers indeed.