With the price of games becoming increasingly competitive between retailers, it’s not the easiest time to be an independent.
But many indie stores and chains are still continuing to shine through innovation and by embracing new business avenues.
These include the top 20 UK indies of 2011, revealed this week by MCV, Koch Media and Nindie.com (see full list below).
Six of the retailers are websites – including specialist game sites such as ShopTo and Gameseek – while others are long-running stores. These include Barkman Computers which has been in business for almost 25 years, Scottish chain Games Centre – which has six stores – and the ever- growing Grainger Games.
Despite the market dip, VAT at 20 per cent and strong competition from national chains, many store owners remain confident.
“Competing with others is not any more challenging than it’s ever been. Public spending is a bit tighter but if you’ve get the right proposition, the right business structure and you’re out there looking for opportunities, I think you’ll do well,” Games Centre’s MD Robert Lindsay told MCV.
Nick Elliott of Barkman Computers added: “It’s a tough time but hopefully the strong will survive.”
Online stores are also optimistic of the future. “I believe there is great opportunity in the independent games retail sector,” said Neil Muspratt, director of Simplygames.com.
“We are enjoying growth now and we are not alone. A key element of our success has been skilful buying.”
ShopTo’s purchasing director James Rowson added: “We’re going from strength to strength and I can’t see anything changing in the short term.”
To read our Top 20 Indie retailers feature, click here.