Game’s decision to close a total of 43 stores and concessions is the right move for a difficult market.
Closing stores – or indeed concessions – has traditionally been seen as a sign of weakness.
It is not a surprise, really, because the resulting headlines don’t look too pretty and are inevitably followed by questions about the health of the business concerned.
But in difficult markets, it’s the right thing to do and with the tough climate for sales in the video games market showing little sign of abating, it’s right that Gamereviews its store estate. After all, businesses are quick to expand in the good times, but when markets get harder it’s inevitable that some locations don’t work any more.
That’s where a concession model comes into its own, because its much easier to get out of them than out of a lease from a landlord. Debenhams never seemed an obvious home for Game – the two shopper bases seem almost totally exclusive – and the host retailer won’t want concessions that aren’t working any more than the concessionaire.
In the multichannel age it’s going to be more important than ever that retailers manage their property portfolios effectively, and that includes being unsentimental about coming out of space which isn’t working for them.
For those in sectors more likely to be affected by the web than most – such as Game – that becomes even more important.