The GAME Group has opened its first Gamestation store outside of the UK, MCV can reveal.
The firm has unveiled a mall-based store in Alcala de Henares in Central Spain, 20 miles East of Madrid.
GAME currently owns 1,342 stores across the UK, France, Spain, Scandinavia and Australia. In the last financial year to January 31st, 2009, it opened 112 non-UK stores – but none of these carried the Gamestation brand.
A Gamestation spokesperson told MCV: “Even with the global economic slowdown, Spain’s PC and video games market remains robust.
“We are trialling our Gamestation brand in Spain to establish whether a dual brand strategy can meet the level of games coverage that the mall owner demands.”
In June 2001, The GAME Group purchased CentroMAIL, Spain’s leading specialist retailer of computer software and video games, which at the time had around 70 stores. This chain now has over 140 outlets, 102 of which are owned, with the rest being franchised.
However, Gamestation’s USP of being a store for the ‘hardcore’ gamer sets it apart from any other offering in The GAME Group’s portfolio.
Further openings would be a key weapon in GAME’s global battle with US giant GameStop.
After purchasing French market leader Micromania in October 2008, Gamestop took its total European store count up to 1,077.