The former commercial director of Woolworths has told MCV that games will play a “key role” in his new nationwide retail chain.
Tony Page has secured £10 million in funding for his new venture, which will contain many of the same product lines of Woolworths. Page says he can acquire up to 300 stores in the next three years in the UK’s market towns – many of them in ex-Woolworths locations.
Page is yet to name the business, but says the first outlet will be open in June. An office will be established in Maidenhead this month.
“As far as our entertainment offer goes, games will be at the heart of it,” he told MCV. “Games and DVD will play a really key role there and should take up much more shelf space than music.”
The chain will stock many of the product lines that made Woolworths famous. However, Page said that the video games industry would have to engage with the business if games were to be a success.
“The key for us is to make sure we can find appropriate, consistent supply, and without Entertainment UK we’ve got to look at other players for assistance. We want the support from the entire entertainment industry.
“The credit crunch is on our side this time. There are a lot of properties that are lying empty. We’re always looking for landlords – and we will do so much more aggressively once we’re set up and have money in the bank. There’s a role for us in those market towns – there aren’t many alternatives for entertainment consumers at the moment since Woolworths went into administration.”
Page added that the chain would concentrate on chart titles, with a small presence for back catalogue titles.
Woolworths ceased trading in January this year, leaving 27,000 people unemployed.