277 Game Group stores to close, 2,104 job losses in UK, Ireland

26 Mar 2012

PwC has confirmed it will close 277 Game and Gamestation stores across the UK and Ireland from today, which will result in 2,104 jobs losses over the week for those working in Game Group’s stores.

In a statement, PwC, which became administrator for Game Group, confirmed the redundancies and blamed the operational requirements of the business with the current difficulties in the retail market.

Game Group has 609 stores across the UK and Ireland. Fourteen are in the Republic of Ireland and 20 are in Northern Ireland. It did not confirm which stores across Ireland will close, though a number of unconfirmed reports suggest all of its stores in the Republic of Ireland will close, while all but three of its stores in Northern Ireland will close.

This will result in 333 stores which will employ 2,814 people. They will stay open while administrators search for a purchaser for the business.

“Our priority is to continue trading the business as normal while we continue to pursue a sale,” said Mike Jervis, joint administrator and partner at PwC.

“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,” he said.

In a Facebook post, Game Group also said that it had suspended GAME Reward Cards, gift cards, click and collect titles, trade-ins for hardware and GAMEwallet accounts until further notice. In open stores, it will be unable to offer refunds and exchanges refunds, it will not take preorders and it will not let customers trade pre-owned software for cash.

Game Group’s struggles

Game Group appointed PwC as administrator for the business, which has been struggling to compete recently and suffered huge hits to its profits and cashflow.

Its CEO Ian Shephard resigned, leaving Jervis in charge of the business. Shephard said Jervis will make “big changes” to the store estate and the office to make the business more attractive to a potential buyer.

Its shares dropped to 1p earlier this month and the retailer was suspended from trading.

Along with these losses, Game Group also had difficulty stocking a number of new games from different publishers, including Mass Effect 3, which has become the highest-selling game in the UK this year so far.