In what is being described the biggest retail failure in the UK since Woolworths went into administration in 2008, PriceWaterhouseCoopers has shuttered 277 GAME and Gamestation outlets in England and Ireland in the specialist videogame retailer’s first day of administration, a move that has resulted in the loss of 2,104 jobs.
PwC described the job losses as “regrettable” but hopes that the move will “place the company in a stronger position”, allowing the remaining stores to continue to operate as it looks to sell the company’s remaining assets.
“The group has faced serious cashflow and profit issues over the recent past. It also has suffered from high fixed costs, an ambitious international roll-out and fluctuating working capital requirements,” PwC’s Mike Jarvis told MCV. “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.”
Meanwhile, Eurogamer is reporting that any pre-orders made with GAME and Gamestation before the company went into administration will not be refunded.
GAME has no stores in New Zealand but does operate in Australia. Speaking with MCV Pacific, the Managing Director of GAME Australia said, “Australia is a separate legal entity and business from the UK, with a separate management team. The choices that GAME’s UK entities are making don’t necessarily impact us here.”
“The Australian management team and I are working hard on a number of viable alternative options for our business.”