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Posted March 22, 2012 by Tim Norman in News
 
 

Game Group to head into administration, hopes to continue trading.


The board of The Game Group has voluntarily suspended trading on the London Stock Exchange, and will appoint an administrator to manage the company’s affairs. The board believes that the company no longer has equity value, with over £180 million (AU$270 million) in debts.

The company is now expected to close more than half of its 600 UK stores, with the future of its international operations (including here in Australia) uncertain. There have been several rescue attempts, the most notable from equity firm OpCapita, who have had past success in rescuing UK-based electronics retailer Comet from bankruptcy.

American retail firm Gamestop has also shown interest, however the overlap between Gamestop’s own EBGames brand and Game’s Australian stores has been a sticking point for any buyout. There is also an offer for Game’s Spanish and Australian operations from Hilco.


Tim Norman

 
Raised in the arcades of the 1990s, Tim believes that if you're not playing for score, then you're not playing.


One Comment


  1.  

    I’m sure they’re not telling their staff anything because they want to keep there stores operating whilst they organise a plan to shutter everything.
    They didn’t inform staff 5 years ago when they stopped paying commissions until 3 months after they were overdue to be paid.
    They didn’t inform staff about massive cutbacks in the SA stores until 2 weeks before closures , the minimum time required by law, and as a result ended up paying out a substantial amount in severance packages.
    Communication from the top 2 guys (who came down from the UK stores) — was non-existent for a long time, whilst there were firings going on all over the place in head office due to massives losses and shady practices. – Kotaku sort of reported about it here: http://www.kotaku.com.au/2010/06/job-cuts-store-closures-hit-aussie-retailer-game/
    At any rate, as someone who worked there since very close to its inception until a couple of years ago, I can say with certainty, that the Australian stores have not once had a profitable year!
    You would also have to assume that the Australian suppliers are not too bright, they should have cut off their stock months ago aswell!
    Their desperate measures should’ve made this obvious to anyone grey imports sold as $10 cheaper ‘preowned’ games with non-descript ratings stickers and the buying up large numbers of consoles from Big W/Target sales and reselling them as new, the company has been lucky to retain any sense of credibility and the staff in the stores should have realised they were working on a sinking ship.
    Since I left they started the ridiculous GAMEtv, showing two guys who lived in the basement shouting out to mum for food and drinks, releasing (and subsequently pulling) reward cards with dodgey innueundo, and who can forget the big success that was GAME swinging!! Talk about losing touch with your consumer.
    At any rate, I feel awful for many of the low level staff who will be left with nothing, after repeated promises of huge progression opportunities and the opportunity to work for the worlds second largest games retailer, with awesome job security! Whilst the area, regional and national managers will walk away quite wealthy into another company that they can flush down the toilet.





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