Game to close 40 stores amid dramatic “rationalisation programme”

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Game is set to close 40 stores throughout the UK in a dramatic store “rationalisation programme” as it struggles to maintain its “extensive retail footprint”.

The video game retailer, which was taken over by Sports Direct for £52 million in June 2019, has confirmed that 13 sites have already had their notice served, including sites in Mansfield, Cantebury, Glasgow Fort and Leicester.

A further 14 notices were served yesterday on sites understood to be mostly owned by shopping centre giants Intu and New River in sites including Derby, Bexleyheath and Carmarthen.

Game said that it expects to serve notice on the remaining 13 sites in the near future.

The retailer did not clarify how many staff members were due to be affected or whether they will be offered roles elsewhere in the business.

Charged has approached the Game for comment.

READ MORE: Game is offering store credit for unwanted pairs of socks

It is also unclear how many of its closures will be from its 259 retail stores portfolio and how many will be from its 21 Belong esports arenas.

In October 2019 property consultancy firm CBRE announced that it was launching a review of the retailer’s property, adding that there was a “significant opportunity to restructure” its current estate.

“The existing Game portfolio has an average unexpired term of less than 0.8 years which offers a significant opportunity to re-structure the current portfolio,” CBRE’s head of national agency James Keany said at the time.

“There will be a combination of closures and relocations, with the focus being Belong, their exciting esports gaming platform.”

READ MORE: Game agrees to £52m Sports Direct takeover

In the statement released today, Game said: “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.”

Shortly after its takeover of Game in July, Sports Direct stated that it was not confident the retailer was able to weather the pressures currently facing the industry, adding that these would only become “more acute” in the near future.

Last month Sports Direct, which now trades under ‘Frasers Group’ reported mixed financial results amid its many subsidiaries including Game, Evans Cycles, Jack Wills, Sports Direct and Sofa.com

Sales across the business rose 6.7 per cent to £1.2 billion, however this was mainly driven by recent takeovers, with these stripped out sales fell 8.6 per cent.

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