GAME on for 1,000 stores

July 8th by Lisa Foster

Forget games-on-demand or offshore online stores, bricks and mortar will remain GAME’s priority – with 1,000 stores and £1 billion sales being targeted over the next three years.

This decidedly robust forward view comes amidst the “challenging” trading climate that the retail giant admitted when announcing interim results earlier this week. Widespread discounting of chart titles, plus a general slowdown in new releases have also affected GAME.

“There’s no doubt that the market is tough right now,” chief executive Martin Long (pictured) told MCV. “Everyone still has a hangover from Christmas, thanks to the hardware shortages. Plus the discounting on new releases is hurting everyone. Plus consumer spending in general is down. So it’s challenging at the moment.

“But we’re very optimistic about the market and our business going forward. We’ve got PSP, Game Boy Micro and Xbox 360 coming and additional new formats to follow that. September 1st can’t come soon enough.”

Long (pictured right) added that GAME will boast 700 stores across Europe by Christmas. “And expansion will continue. We will have 1,000 stores within the next three to five years, matched with a £1bn profit.”

GAME announced on Wednesday that in the 22-week period to July 2nd total group sales were up by 6.3 per cent, with group like-for-like sales down 2.6 per cent. UK and Ireland sales were up 0.5 per cent, with like-for-like sales down 5.4 per cent. And Continental Europe total and LFL sales were up by 37.2 per cent and 12.0 per cent respectively.

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