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GAME. Up the creek without a paddle?


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I just think GAME have made very poor choice of locations of stores.

Swindon for example has what I'd call one medium and one fairly pokey sized stores about 100 yards from eachother. Maybe less? No-one's ever in the small one, and it amazes me they've both been open so long.

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Game may often have stores within jumping distance of one another, but in my home town they're all rammed come December. Must be a tricky balancing act between deciding how many empty shops to have during the summer so you can cash in come Christmas.

Still, I worked there for about three years and my view is that they are a bunch of arseholes with little respect for their staff and even less for their customers.

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I have never understood how / why Game could sustain so many retail outlets in such close proximity. We have 2 Games and a GameStation in my local town. All within spitting distance of each other. Surely the costs must outweigh the profits. I guess they do if they are now shrinking.

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It's a shame because when I was younger, before the internet, I spent many hours browsing Game stores and it was pretty much the only place I'd buy games. They were good at what they did back then, so I can't really hate them.

For years though they just haven't had a purpose. It's cheaper to buy games online and thanks to the internet I already know about and have seen every game months / years before release so I've got no need to browse or watch the screens in store.

They need to create another reason to go in. Trade ins seem to be the only thing they've got at the minute, but it just turns stores into a jumble sale and it's not a place I want to go into as a result.

They should make the stores more of a social experience and create an environment where people actually want to spend some time, and as a result will naturally spend more money, because they'll want to.

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I don't know about the rest of the country, but my experience with Game stores in Edinburgh and most other places has been that it's somewhere you wouldn't want to spend any real time in. There's barely enough space to get around the store, much less stop and browse and possibly ask a member of staff for some advice. With that, why not go to a supermarket or shop online? They need to learn from the indies, and try to make it a place that's at the centre of people's gaming lives again. Launches are one way of doing that, I certainly paid more attention to Game stores when they were a possibly way of snagging a Wii back in December 06 than any time since.

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Whenever this topic comes up everyone fails to realise that they are not GAME's target market and never will be.

Walk in to GAME any time between September and January and witness the huge queues of people buying overpriced console bundles and GENERIC DS PETS GAME X and you will see why they will be safe for some time yet.

They made MASSIVE profits last year, the only reason they are cost cutting is that their targets are set ridiculously high so despite making huge profits in the midst of a recession it isn't good enough for shareholders because it isn't twice what they made last year.

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Whenever this topic comes up everyone fails to realise that they are not GAME's target market and never will be.

Walk in to GAME any time between September and January and witness the huge queues of people buying overpriced console bundles and GENERIC DS PETS GAME X and you will see why they will be safe for some time yet.

Trouble is, people can line up for overpriced console bundles and Generic DS Pets Game X at the supermarket these days, and often save a bit in the process. They need to differentiate themselves to survive.

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They made MASSIVE profits last year, the only reason they are cost cutting is that their targets are set ridiculously high so despite making huge profits in the midst of a recession it isn't good enough for shareholders because it isn't twice what they made last year.

You can spin it anyway you like but they're not closing 127 stores because they're making too much money, they're closing them because they're losing too much money.

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Trouble is, people can line up for overpriced console bundles and Generic DS Pets Game X at the supermarket these days, and often save a bit in the process. They need to differentiate themselves to survive.

But, they don't.. because people aren't doing their christmas shopping at the supermarket, they go to town or to a shopping centre and they go to GAME to get GAMES because it is called GAME and that is where to get GAMES.

Most of the time they have no fucking clue what the game they want looks like, they just want to ask someone and have them find it for them, sometimes they don't even know what game they want, they just need something for their kid and they have a vague idea of what the kid likes already so they go to GAME and they ask someone.

Supermarkets will have an advantage if people are picking up something from the supermarket but game are still the only specialist game store people know of and will continue to reap the rewards of that status however badly they manage their business.

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Game are piss poor. I'm surprised the major publishers don't turn on them about the whole pre-owned thing.

See highly publicised "falling outs" with publishers which usually result in the publishers folding to their demands.

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But, they don't.. because people aren't doing their christmas shopping at the supermarket, they go to town or to a shopping centre and they go to GAME to get GAMES because it is called GAME and that is where to get GAMES.

Most of the time they have no fucking clue what the game they want looks like, they just want to ask someone and have them find it for them, sometimes they don't even know what game they want, they just need something for their kid and they have a vague idea of what the kid likes already so they go to GAME and they ask someone.

Supermarkets will have an advantage if people are picking up something from the supermarket but game are still the only specialist game store people know of and will continue to reap the rewards of that status however badly they manage their business.

So what you're saying is that super markets aren't a threat to Game despite vastly underpricing them, and they're closing 127 stores because ... something.

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So what you're saying is that super markets aren't a threat to Game despite vastly underpricing them, and they're closing 127 stores because ... something.

I'm saying that they aren't making as much money as they WANT to but they are still making A LOT of money.

They are closing stores to make yet more money, not because they can't afford to keep them open.

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Let me preface this and say that as a female, without an obsessive interest in games, I should be in the demographic that GAME works best for and I hate them. I mean, all computer game only shops suffer from that horrible sweaty boy smell, but our local GAME is just full of arses who are there for pressure sales and know nothing about games that isn't utterly obvious.

My wife has had the same issue with EB down here. (Back in the day she wanted to buy a GBA for me and they kept insisting she should buy a pink GBA because they thought it was for her. She ended up going to a non game related store in the end.)

She shops at the local music store now for games for me because the guys in there won't be all shocked a girl is in a game store or patronising as all fuck.

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I can't remember the last time I bought something from GAME in-store. There's just absolutely nothing in there apart from own-brand accessory crap, awful condition pre-owned titles, and all hugely expensive shovelware on the little shelf space they actually have dedicated to games.

Even 'nice' things to look at aren't in them anymore. I went from HMV to GAME, and in HMV they had their shelves absolutely lined with loads of titles and offers for me to peruse. They had game guides (the Super Mario Galaxy 2 one was nice, made me think of buying it), non-invasive accessories, and staff that don't look at me longingly wondering if I need help buying a Wii and a shit family game. I went to GAME, got asked if I needed help walking in the store (I don't really mind this, but if I want help I'll usually ask), looked at their meagre stock that contained bugger all, and what was there was at least £35 or more.

It's funny because on one side of a HMV they've outclassed an entire GAME. Bad thing is, they're side by side on the high-street as well.

I completely agree.

Here in Bristol we used to have an excellent EB and a fantastic Game. Both had a great selection of varied stock, passionate staff, and nice looking shopping environments.

These days the Game store has moved to smaller premises, and obviously, EB went/was merged years ago. The Game store just has masses of shovelware, and it just looks horrible inside. The staff there these days just don't seem to be into games, either.

Go into the games section of HMV only a few streets away and it looks fantastic, as you say. Guides, good offers, systems set up in really nice ways, gaming clothing, and the whole environment just looks really stylish.

The nice thing is, you don't get bothered by staff either.

I can't remember the last time I bought anything from Game, and hardly visit it these days either. HMV on the other hand have had a fair bit of cash from me over the past few months, and I'm always popping in to see what's new.

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Worth remembering that Electronics Boutique were competitors to Game before they bought Game out. When they rebranded all the EB stores before their deal with EB in America came to an end, they chose to change the EB stores into Game stores. Ditching the EB name was a good idea at the time, because there was no benefit to them building up a good reputation and customer loyalty if EB America were going to come to the UK in 2002 and keep their name. But bringing both brands together semeed to defeat the point of the buyout in the first place.

Game attracted the hardcore gamer, and EB attracted the families. By owning both stores it made sense to grab the whole market with the two brands. But with the possibility of EB US coming to the UK, ditching the name a few years early was very smart. If EB US did come to the UK, they would have to build their brand up again. But why on earth would you take your sucessful, 2 brand strategy and put all your eggs in 1 basket by making all the stores Game?

To be fair to them, they do appear to have held off from having people lose their jobs for a lot longer than they needed to. Surely it never made sense having so many towns with 2 identical stores so close to each other. The issue is that EB used to be a competitor to Game, so it wasn't unusual to have Game open a store as close to EB as possible in order to try and take their customers. One of the stores I managed was just 2 doors away from EB, and rebranding left the town with two identical Game stores. It just made no sense.

It was mentioned at the time by my area manager that now Game was so massive, it meant they could not get bought out/taken over, as it would give them a market share higher than the monopolies and mergers commision would allow. Also, for the same reason, they could expand their brand, but would be unable to buy out another company. So based on that statement, I would guess that this was the time that Game was as big as they could be.

The fact that a few years later, Game managed to buy Gamestation suggests to me that Game's market share must have declined massively since that conversation. When I left Game, I thought they were the number one retailer for video games, but now, as a customer looking in from outside, I think that they didn't know just how much of their business was being taken by the supermarkets. I have no hostility to Game/Gamestation (and the staff in the Morecambe and Lancaster branches of Gamestation are absolutely fantastic, they really know what they are talking about and are genuinely helpful), but the supermarkets are never more expensive than Game, they have the stuff on the shelf when you're doing the weekly shopping. I call in at Gamestation a lot, and thanks to them, I've played EDF, Yakusa 3 and many others that I probably wouldn't have tried without their input, but the mass Market shopper doesn't need to be told how amazing EDF is, they just want to get the new game from the top ten chart, and don't really need all that back catalogue.

And holy shit, I could not BELIEVE the size of the queue in Asda for GTA4 at midnight. I used to have midnight launches at Game and they were sucessful by comparing us to other branches. There were about 300 people in Asda on GTA launch night. It was pandemonium. My store was considered a good performer, but I'd kill for a queue of 300 people at midnight.

Have I strayed from the point of the thread? What was I going to say? Oh yes.

I think that if they close down a load of stores, it is seen as a bad thing, and the company probably looks like they have run out of money. But it's all a streamlining excersise based on the mistakes of the past, and if they can close a load of Game stores, leaving 1 Game and 1 Gamestation in each town, then fill those stores with staff of the caliber of Gamestation of Morecambe and Lancaster, they will do very well. In fact, this could well be their lowest ebb- time to buy some shares in the company I think.

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but the supermarkets are never more expensive than Game, they have the stuff on the shelf when you're doing the weekly shopping.

Gonna have to pull you for that point. The supermarkets arnt always cheaper. Infact, at times Ive seen stuff in Tesco/Asda going for rediculous amounts, due to the little attention on pricing some games seem to get (pretty much left on the shelf to rot)

But they will always beat them on New Releases, especially targeted and loss-leaders.

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I'm saying that they aren't making as much money as they WANT to but they are still making A LOT of money.

They are closing stores to make yet more money, not because they can't afford to keep them open.

So what you're saying is that Game's aim is to make more money, and they're closing down stores which are indeed making them money, in order to make money.

Does that make sense to you?

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So what you're saying is that Game's aim is to make more money, and they're closing down stores which are indeed making them money, in order to make money.

Does that make sense to you?

Two nearby stores can both be making a profit. They'll make more profit by closing one, cutting their costs and still selling the same amount of goods.

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So what you're saying is that Game's aim is to make more money, and they're closing down stores which are indeed making them money, in order to make money.

Does that make sense to you?

Two nearby stores can both be making a profit. They'll make more profit by closing one, cutting their costs and still selling the same amount of goods.

Exactly.

IT isn't even as simple as that, it just makes shareholders happy if you start cutting costs, the best way to do that is to employ less people, the best way to employ less people is to have less stores.

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They should make the stores more of a social experience and create an environment where people actually want to spend some time, and as a result will naturally spend more money, because they'll want to.

I thought, for a moment, about the idea of approaching it in a similar manner to coffee at Waterstone's - i.e. shops would do more things like tournaments, "book signings"... Stuff like that. It probably wouldn't work out though. The fact that it doesn't already happen probably means that the punters wouldn't go for it (or someone would be doing it by now).

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According to that the new CEO is a gamer! Am I the only person that can see how badly that will fare? Everytime somebody brings in a rare game to trade in he'll take it himself without putting it on the shop floor, and he'll probably refuse to stock any Wii non-traditional games because of the gamers natural hatred of waggle. When the big blockbusters are released he'll close the stores so he can play them with his friends and then brag about playing them before everyone else.

Sell your Game shares now folks :unsure:

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If they make the majority of their profit at Christmas why don't they just open up temporary stores for that period like those awful Gadget shops that always appear around that time and that way you don't have to pay to keep a store open for the rest of the year when it is nowhere near as busy.

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IT isn't even as simple as that, it just makes shareholders happy if you start cutting costs, the best way to do that is to employ less people, the best way to employ less people is to have less stores.

It's how these things work. Companies with shareholders always have to appear to be either growing in profit, year-on-year, or they have to appear to be fixing something that stopped their growth last year. How much they actually made seems to be irrelevant. I don't understand it at all.

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