Wireframe #29 is out now
40 GAME stores are facing the end of the line in a new "store rationalisation programme" following their takeover by Sports Direct in June of 2019. 27 shops have already been earmarked for closure, including Canterbury, Watford, Mansfield and Leicester.
Moves to drastically alter GAME's outlook were broached in Sports Direct's full year report in July of last year, with the company stating "To get the GAME retail and Belong concepts right will also require a higher degree of flexibility than has proven possible under the current collaboration agreement. In a challenged market, the collaboration agreement simply does not go far enough to address the issues GAME faces as a standalone business."
Now, a new press release has revealed that 40 shops are likely to be affected around the UK.
"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,” says GAME's statement. “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."
The confusing language of the piece seems to hint at the idea that at least some of these GAME stores could be flipped into Belong esports arenas under cheaper lease agreements going forward.