Game has said it intends to close 40 stores across the UK unless it can renegotiate rents with landlords as it blamed a “challenging retail market”.

In a statement published yesterday, Game said that it had served notice on 13 sites including in Mansfield, Canterbury, Watford, Glasgow Fort and Leicester and had yesterday issued notice on a further 14 sites.

These 14 further sites, including in Derby, Norwich Chapelfield, Lakeside, Bexleyheath and Carmarthen, are predominantly owned by landlords Intu and New River.

A spokesperson for the gaming retailer said it wanted to “ensure that we do not have to vacate” the 40 locations but said it needed to undertake a restructuring of its store estate and called on landlords to be “realistic” and “fair” about rents.

The retailer said it also intends to “serve notice on the additional sites in the near future”.

“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.”

Game’s management told shareholders to accept a buyout from then majority stakeholder Mike Ashley-owned Sports Direct in July 2019.

The offer was worth £52m and Ashley said at the time he would look to place gaming arenas in House of Fraser, which he bought out of administration in August 2018.