The gaming giant has announced plans to close the stores but has also said that it is “working closely with landlords throughout the UK to ensure that we do not have to vacate the 40 locations.”
In a puzzling press release, the company confirmed that it intends to shut down several stores and has already served notice at 13 different sites, including Mansfield, Canterbury, Watford, Glasgow Fort and Leicester.
A further 14 locations were served notice yesterday – stores in Derby, Norwich Chapelfield, Lakeside, Bexleyheath and Carmarthen were all affected.
GAME has yet to provide a full list of all the stores concerned in the transition and it also hasn’t clarified if these sites will definitely be shut-down.
In a confusing statement, a GAME spokesperson said: “We are working closely with landlords throughout the UK to ensure that we do not have to vacate the 40 locations which could lead to a number of job losses.
Related: GAME opens huge London esports arena
“However, we are facing a challenging retail market and GAME with its extensive retail footprint, needs to restructure and landlords need to work with us in setting realistic, fair rents.”
It’s likely that the sites’ future is dependent on property rental prices – but when we pressed GAME for clarification, the company declined to comment.
Staff have been venting their frustration on Twitter, after having being kept out of the loop with the closure news.
At the tail end of last year GAME opened a huge Belong eSports arena in Oxford Street, which has a smaller retail space alongside the huge stretch of playable PCs.
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This may well signal a new strategy for the company and be partially responsible for the store closures.
At the opening of the arena, CEO Martin Gibbs said “We’re trying to build the most valuable community for gamers. We don’t believe we do that by just having a shop. We believe you have to have the right experiences around that and a real focus on esports.”
We’ve reached out to GAME for further comment.