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Report: GAME staff told to prepare for administration

Friday, 9th March 2012 15:44 GMT By Johnny Cullen

MCV‘s reporting that senior staff at GAME have been told to prepare for the potentiality of going into administration.

Senior reps were told in a meeting this week by CEO Ian Shepherd the store has about two weeks to turn its fortunes around.

The only way now to stop it entering into administration is if a buyout came from somewhere like US retailer GameStop, as previously rumoured. GS was reported to be interested in GAME’S Iberian arm yesterday morning.

GAME is also holding a firesale right now to get rid of sitting stock, including hardware, which could stave off administration for a short while.

However, if a GameStop deal or the firesale doesn’t work out, its thought it has already organised a pre-package acquisition for a potential buyer.

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32 Comments

  1. Patrick Garratt

    Dear me. This is going to be horribly messy.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Patrick Garratt

    I was told in San Francisco last week that GAME had four week’s money left. So this tallies.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. Joe Musashi

    I’m still sticking with “GAME OVER” as the headline-du-jour for this fiasco.

    JM

    #3 3 years ago
  4. Patrick Garratt

    It seems like everyone’s studiously avoiding it.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. Blerk

    No new releases in-store today at all. Stock’s looking decidedly patchy after the fire-sale, too. Seems over for high-street gaming retail, especially with HMV on the ropes too.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. mickey2002

    REALLY :O… Anyone who has half a brain cell that works at GAME would of already moved jobs or been on the look out for a new job for months.

    They are going down simple, their finances are DIRE! My mother did work for them untill a few months ago about time she left can get much higher pay elsewhere. (she works in finance to make that clear lol)

    Unless they get bailed out they are gone. They should of done major changes starting 12-18 month ago get rid of ton of stores and so forth. They’ve been asleep and now wake up abit oh **** we are in great huge hole etc etc. I mean why didn’t they get a loan out to pay for all the ME3′s they’d still able to pay it back the day of release and make money still meh even if they do recover it’ll be hard to make huge profits again as how many people have lost the trust of them.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. Lahanas

    Isnt there any other big chain that can buy Game?

    #7 3 years ago
  8. G1GAHURTZ

    So I guess this means big showbiz midnight launches at Tesco from now on?

    #8 3 years ago
  9. Patrick Garratt

    To be honest, I think optimism at this point is misguided. Barring some kind of miracle, it’s finished.

    #9 3 years ago
  10. Blerk

    @7, who’d want it? GAME already hoovered up all their high-street competitors anyway.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. G1GAHURTZ

    REALLY :O… Anyone who has half a brain cell that works at GAME…

    LOL!! Quality joke.

    #11 3 years ago
  12. mickey2002

    I need to get down to my local gamestation since got a cash hard aswell as “exp”, already spent all my game reward points on ms points.

    Funny: My quidco GAME trancations got confirmed today XD lol

    #12 3 years ago
  13. Johnny Cullen

    Man, that BBC interview I did really stands out now in hindsight. :(

    #13 3 years ago
  14. mickey2002

    Did that go up on the iplayer Johnny ?

    #14 3 years ago
  15. Johnny Cullen

    You can listen to it here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/nibusiness#playepisode3

    Click on the March 6 episode.

    #15 3 years ago
  16. StolenGlory

    This whole debacle really stands out as one of the worst examples of corporate hubris I think I have ever seen or been a part of. They simply put far too much faith in the boom bubbles that the business was caught in at the time; whether it was the ‘Playstation Era (Circa 1995-2006)’ or the Wii/DS explosion.

    A lot of folks have hit it right on the head when they said they weren’t forward thinking enough and it’s true – they weren’t. At all. On a very general level, they had little or no grasp of emergent market trends and utterly failed to find any sort of balance instore in regards to marketing their pre-orders (which took up far too much of the space they were meant to be selling actual product in), preowned (took far too much new-release space and wasn’t priced sensibly) and finally, back-catalogue (which suffered because of the first two and almost utterly killed of the PC side of things completely).

    On a store management level, they started fucking things up a LONG time ago ever since they enforced far too much conformity amongst store management practices. They effectively took Manager’s sales skills away from them (y’know, one of the KEY FUCKING CRITERIA that got them the position in the first place) by making them follow the exact same layout and template format that the other 400 stores did. If you didn’t have any political favours to call in (read: backs to stab), you couldn’t get away with trying to manage the store anywhere near to halfway as uniquely as you would like to.

    I actually recall when I first started back in 2000 (yes, I am an old and withered husk), that store managers were actually granted a significant amount of autonomy as to how they managed their store – they had freedom to arrange displays how they saw fit, POS, staff rotas etc… so long as their figures backed up their management styles which more often than not they did. Don’t get me wrong, they weren’t given absolute free reign over their store for obvious reasons and had to adhere to some fundamental procedural things, but by and large it made every store unique and genuinely gave customers almost completely different shopping experiences.

    Of course the upshot of everyone following identikit plans and creating identikit stores, was that it took that much longer to root out the idle, useless managers from the genuinely hardworking ones who had their creativity and innovations suffocated. So as you might reasonably infer, what started as snowflakes of incompetence soon turned into a great big motherfucking rolling snowball of ineptitude that slowly dragged each region down with only a few holdouts still managing to look decent.

    Then on-top of this forced unilateral conformity came the mismanagement that pretty much sealed the deal for staff and customers alike. The suits at head office went far too big on incentivising as which resulted in hard and often desperate ‘re-training’ of staff to achieve what were hugely inflated and sometimes just downright unachievable targets. As we all know, this made the staff miserable as sin because GAME never could properly analyse the individual strengths of store staff (some were better at fast throughput at the till, while some were better at succinct and effective up-selling on the shopfloor) and so naturally everyone struggled and little by little (despite how nice these staff may have been previously) the misery and disinterest gets passed onto the staff (often compounded by hour cutbacks which meant you couldn’t properly staff the shop floor anyway) and so you have a classic shit cascade where everybody was miserable and you only turned up to work because your friends were there and you enjoyed games, but no longer enjoyed selling them.

    In a classic case of life imitating art, it was like living in some twisted GAME version of Clerks – it really was. We all got hooked in because we had such a deep-seated and innocent love for games (we wanted everyone else to know about our favourite hobby; that’s why we were such good sales people for the most part because we just wouldn’t shut the fuck up) that it seemed like the dream job. For just about all of us, at least in the early days, it started out that way and then gradually, through conformity to common-sense barren practices, an over-zealousness to incentivize extra-curricular bullshit and just reams and reams of suffocating bureaucracy our love for the job (and some us our hobby) eroded and we just stopped giving a shit quite frankly.

    From the suits getting paid their 6-7 figure salaries (and then jumping off the ship when it all went to shit due to their chronically abysmal mismanagement *cough* LM *cough*) all the way through to every single bad and pointless thing that fucked up a job that originally was pretty enjoyable, the only thing that remained as I said were your friends and at that point you just knew, you KNEW, however far in the back of your mind that something would start to give. I’m just surprised it’s taken this long and like I have said before; I feel genuinely sorry and impassioned toward each and every friend that I made at GAME who was shit on by the senior management and who will also lose their jobs as the end result of their accumulative incompetence.

    It’s cliché’ but it holds true; many of those guys in my experience were too good for that place and I hope they’ve all found (or will find) opportunities beyond the purgatory that GAME has turned into for them.

    The quick-buck suits on the other hand, who didn’t give two shits about the product or the people who initally worked with such a bright enthusiasm (likely to never be seen again at bricks ‘n’ mortar retail), I hope all of those detestable fuckmuppets drown in the afterbirth of their collective incompetence and immorality.

    #16 3 years ago
  17. GrimRita

    You know something. Had been Gamestation(without GAMES involvement), I could probably swear that the gaming community would flock to their stores in order to help them continue in business.

    Because this is GAME – the same company who has shit over publishers and the gaming public, no bugger will lift a finger and this is the end. Clearly, they are selling everything at knock-down prices to get some revenue in to pay the Big Bosses salary, without a care for its staff on the shop floor.

    Yet another ‘big name’ retailer who failed to adapt their business model to the changing needs of its consumers.

    #17 3 years ago
  18. Patrick Garratt

    @16 – Great post.

    #18 3 years ago
  19. DuckOfDestiny

    I’ve ordered two things from their website recently, a cheap Wii game and some Microsoft points. Both have failed to be sent to me, better get my money back, quick.

    #19 3 years ago
  20. Goffee

    Sounds like a template for most UK retail – ever since Boots’ Spaceman store planning system, shops have become ever more cookie cutter and while the executives will think it “helps brand identity and eases the consumer experience” that won’t work in something as personal as gaming.

    #20 3 years ago
  21. SplatteredHouse

    @16: Yes, that was a super post. I felt sad reading it, because from my own experience then, to now of shopping there, it rings true to my own impression of things. A bit like checking rings on a tree to know its history.

    I recognised great people in there, who I didn’t know personally, but they were great to me. I saw a lot in them. Ambassadors for games. Knowledgable, breaths of fresh air (examples to other shops), willing and able to help people understand products as well as they were well-skilled at selling them. I wonder what became of them, The Manager and his Team, although I haven’t seen any of them for years, I still hold them in high regard. I have no such love for what came after, what would replace them. If I’m lucky, they just take my money, and hand me in return a filled box.

    #21 3 years ago
  22. xino

    :/
    i’ve got £4 worth of points!

    #22 3 years ago
  23. Cee

    Short and simple: GAME was too expensive compared to elsewhere
    They shouldn’t of wasted time, money and energy revamping their website.

    The lesson is High Street stores have their days well and truly Samantha Mumba’d

    #23 3 years ago
  24. LOLshock94

    Not sure if alot of you guys no this but they are selling psps and ds lites for £30 and also selling a shit load of cheap pre owned games.

    #24 3 years ago
  25. Cee

    Yesh..I do anyways…had my mrs phone me every two fucking minutes…. do you want this(such and such a game) for £1.98

    #25 3 years ago
  26. Cort

    @16 Comment of the year. Kudos to you.

    #26 3 years ago
  27. Psychotext

    I’m with Cort. A compelling read.

    #27 3 years ago
  28. Sublimeone

    I would find it laughable if they SURVIVE, seriously they have to go BURST. This should set a precedent for any retail business if they choose to ignore market (business model), behaviour of customers, and finally Online alternatives.

    If I recall correctly GAME’s troubles has been in the news going for about 1 – 2 YEARs (YES!) and I have not noticed any changes at all. As though they were praying for a miracle.

    #28 3 years ago
  29. dreamcastnews

    I bet this isn’t half as bad in reality, this whole thing is too public, my money is on Gamestop taking them

    #29 3 years ago
  30. Marx n Engels

    This does all sound a little familiar to the dying days of Woolworths a few years back – scrambling for quick sales, hoping someone will come and buy them out.

    http://joystuck.co.uk/news/3475-game-could-go-into-administration-in-two-weeks-time

    #30 3 years ago
  31. brotherhoodofthewolf

    comment on Eurogamer says that GAME is asking its staff to sign new contracts.
    the cynic in me says, if this is true, that GAME are blackmailing their staff to sign new contracts that won’t entitle them to as much redundancy pay – or, be made redundant.
    worth a canny journo looking into this further.

    #31 3 years ago
  32. dreamcastnews

    That’s bullshit, I work there and there have been no such contracts.

    #32 3 years ago

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