Game Group enters administration, hundreds of stores to close

26 Mar 2012

Video-game retailer Game Group has officially gone into administration, with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) appointed as administrators of its UK and Ireland operations. Game Group’s CEO has also resigned and reports suggest that 300 stores will close immediately.

Mike Jervis and Stuart Maddison of PwC were appointed joint administrators of Game Group’s UK and Ireland operations, which include its Game and Gamestation stores.

Jervis said that while the retailer has faced many issues in the past, he believes it could be sold.

“The group has faced serious cashflow and profit issues over the recent past. It also has suffered from high fixed costs, an ambitious international rollout and fluctuating working capital requirements,” said Jervis.

“Despite these challenges, we believe that there is room for a specialist game retailer in the territories in which it operates, including its biggest one, the UK. As a result, we are hopeful that a going concern sale of the business is achievable,” he said.

MCV reports that Game Group’s CEO Ian Shephard has 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.

Store closures

MCV also reports that the first GAME and Gamestation stores to shut down as part of the administration have already been closed. It believes 300 stores will close and more could follow if a buyer is not found soon.

UPDATE: Sky News reports that 2119 Game Group employees will be made redundant, including 2104 store staff and 15 head office employees. 277 stores will shut down immediately across the UK and Ireland

We’ve contacted Game Group to confirm which Irish stores are affected, though some reports state that many of them have already closed.

Its website has also gone down, saying the business is currently reviewing and processing orders placed on the site.

Game Group has 609 stores across the UK and Ireland, with 14 in Ireland. It has 385 employees in its HQ in Basingstoke in the UK and 5,136 store employees across the UK and Ireland.

The video-game retailer has been struggling recently, expecting a stg£18m loss for the year ending 31 January. 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.