Game chain administration puts stores and jobs at risk

STAFF at three local video game stores face an uncertain future after their employer headed for administration.

Game Group Plc, which owns the Game and Gamestation brands, announced its intention to appoint an administrator on Wednesday after trading in its shares was suspended.

It has 1,300 stores worldwide and 600 in the UK, including Game and Gamestation shops in the St Nicholas Arcades shopping centre in Lancaster and a Gamestation branch at Morecambe’s Arndale Centre.

In a statement, it said: “Further to this morning’s announcement of the suspension of trading in shares of GAME Group Plc, the board has concluded that its discussions with all stakeholders and other parties have not made sufficient progress in the time available to offer a realistic prospect for a solvent solution for the business.

“The board has therefore today filed a notice of intention to appoint an administrator.

“In the short term the board’s intention is that the business will continue to trade, and discussions with lenders and third parties will continue under the protection of the interim moratorium.”

Industry trade publication MVC said it now appeared unlikely a deal would be concluded to buy the company in its current state, and that the more likely scenarios were either the closure of all stores or at least the closure of all but the best performing Gamestation stores by Monday, March 26.

Game said that it challenged many of MVC’s claims, but would not say which. It has seen its business eroded by competition from online-only retailers, such as Steam and Amazon.

Last week, several suppliers refused to do business with the company.