Entertainment retailer Game is to shut 18 stores and all of its 25 Debenhams concessions as it reviews its property portfolio in the face of “tough market conditions in 2010”.
In a statement, Game said: “We are committed to evolving our business to make sure it operates as efficiently as possible while consistently delivering the high standards of service our customers demand.
“We regularly review our entire store portfolio, including our concessions, to maximise the opportunities to reach customers while also ensuring that the business is running as effectively as possible.”
Game has suffered from a downturn in its market, and investors have been unsettled by the impact of digital downloading. Game Group’s UK and Ireland like-for-like sales slumped 17.5% in the five weeks to January 9.
Arden Partners analyst Nick Bubb said that strong gross margins have helped offset the fall in like-for-likes.
But he warned: “The onus is now on management to restore shareholder value by focusing on a new strategy, trimming the store portfolio and embracing the online/digital revolution.”
Despite Game’s position, Bubb said there is no sign of a pounce by US peer Gamestop, but that if results in April fail to convince, “more radical measures should be taken to avoid succumbing to a bid”.