Game earmarks 20 sites for factory outlet stores

Computer entertainment retailer Game plans 20 factory outlet stores, following the success of its first at Freeport Outlet Village, near Castleford, that opened in July.

Chief executive designate and chief financial officer Martin Long said the first shop had 'exceeded expectations' and another 20 suitable locations have been identified.

Game has tested a variety of store types in recent months. As well as Game Outlet, the retailer is opening smaller neighbourhood shops and pushing ahead out of town.

Long said: 'We will take a multi-format approach. We will look at every town individually and decide on what will work best for that location.' Game will have opened 22 stores by the end of the financial year.

Deputy chief executive designate Lisa Morgan said Game was looking forward to a good Christmas on the back of strong releases. The retailer anticipates a price-drop on the Nintendo GameCube in the coming weeks - to less than£100 from£129.99 - which could boost sales.

Unlike its rivals - the Sony PlayStation 2 and Microsoft Xbox - the price of the GameCube has not been reduced since its launch. Numis analyst Rachel Waring said: 'The price reduction could help stimulate demand, but it will put pressure on margins.'

Game unveiled turnover up 8 per cent to£231 million and like-for-like sales down 0.3 per cent for the six months to the end of July. Pre-tax profit, before goodwill amortisation, was£2.1 million compared with£3.1 million last year. The fall was partly because of European store openings.