Gamestation makes a play for 200 UK outlets

New and second-hand computer games retailer Gamestation is on track to open its 200th outlet later this year.

The business was acquired by Blockbuster in October 2002, when it had only 64 stores. The number has since grown to 180, including about 40 concessions.

A Gamestation spokeswoman said: 'If we continue at this pace, it looks like we'll be opening our 200th outlet in the autumn.'

Insiders at Gamestation have previously mooted a 400- to 500-store ceiling for the UK. Rival Game has 380 British stores.

The expansion drive comes as Gamestation relaunches with an 'edgy and urban' brand strategy this month.

The Serious Players campaign has been replicated on 'every price tag, poster and shelf-end' across the chain since July 5. It also features on advertising.

'Gamestation started as a company run by gamers for gamers. This is aiming at that core audience,' said the spokeswoman.

The branding has been designed by Cheetham Bell/JWT, which was awarded the£3 million account in April. Taglines include 'Dying for a Slash' to promote the recent launch of modern-day Samurai adventure Onimusha 3, and 'Olds Kool' for the launch of the GameBoy Advance SP Classic NES Edition.

The Gamestation format has been introduced in US Blockbuster stores as GameRush, as the former diversifies out of the video and DVD rental market.

Blockbuster UK first tested concessions at the beginning of last year.