Games Retail Guide 2011

MCV’s annual High Street directory provides an overview of every buying team for each key UK video games retailer, as well as up-to-date store counts, company profiles and contact details.

Game and Gamestation

The UK’s leading specialist games retailer has had a tough year, with sales falling by 9.8 per cent for its last financial year.
But the firm has a plan – one that was outlined in detail in February this year – to grow its digital and online business.

Already sales from digital product has grown 28 per cent year-on-year, and GAME has plans to be more active with its loyalty card customers, all 17.3m of them. GAMEalso collected the MCV Award for specialist retailer in April.

There’s been a few changes at the group over the last year, namely the recent news that UK chief Martyn Gibbs is to depart and be replaced by former Vodafone man Tom Devine.

In the buying team Charlotte Knight has been promoted from head of format buying to head of category management, while former head of buying for third-party Kathryn Jarvis has moved to the retailer’s Sydney office as commercial manager.

A number of new account managers and category managers have joined, including former Sainsbury’s man Nick Arran. Mandip Bhachoo and Alison Fraser are key account managers, while Ross Thompson has the role of senior category manager for Microsoft, PC and peripherals.

Number of UK stores:
622 (371 GAME, 241 Gamestation and 10 GAME concession stores)

GAME Stores Group,
Unity House,
Telford Road,
RG21 6YJ


Contact number:
01256 784000

Key personnel:

Charlotte Knight – Head of Category Management
Nick Arran – Senior Account Manager
Mandip Bhachoo – Key Account Manager
Alison Fraser – Key Account Manager
Lorna Simpson – Account Manager
Ross Thompson – Senior Category Manager (Microsoft, PC and peripherals)
Rachel Dearsley – Category Manager (Sony)
Iain Johnson – Category Manager (Nintendo)


TheUK’s biggest supermarket continues to devote significant resource to its video games team. Its games buying department has grown to over ten experienced retail veterans.

The big changes includes John Stanhope moving over to toys and Sarah Kaye taking on his role as senior buying manager. Alison Scanlon and Jo Unitt have joined as games buyer and assistant games buyer respectively, while Jonathan Hayes has joined from HMV as buying manager.

Over the past year, Tesco has drastically improved its in-store execution for games and rolled-out its a pre-owned offer to multiple stores.

Number of UK stores:
2,715 (1,285 Express, 521 OneStop, 470 superstores, 212 Extra, 186 Metro, 28 Dobbies and 13 Homeplus stores)

Tesco Stores, Cirrus House, Falcon Way, Shire Park, Welwyn Garden City, Herts, AL7 1AB


Contact number:
01992 632 222

Key personnel:

Rob Salter – Category Director, Entertainment
Sarah Kaye – Senior Buying Manager, Games
Joanna Hunt – Buying Manager, Games
Jonathan Hayes – Buying Manager, Games
Mark Burgess – Buyer, Games
Paul Bangs – Buyer, Games
Alison Scanlon – Buyer, Games
Mike Fethers – Assistant Buyer, Games
Lian Diong – Assistant Buyer, Games
Nazuk Ahuja – Assistant Buyer, Games
Jo Unitt – Assistant Buyer, Games


Entertainment retailer HMV has had a tough time over the past 12 months.

The High Street Group saw a weak Christmas trading period in 2010. It issued a number of profit warnings before selling off its book chain Waterstone’s for 53m. But having sold HMV Canada and securing a banking facility, the company has some breathing room.

The games team has seen a number of changes over the past 12 months, with Michael Neil becoming commercial director and Jonathan Hayes departing for Tesco. Richard Thompson has been promoted to games buyer.

As a result of its troubles, HMV is looking to close a number of stores, whilst also invest in technology, ticketing, live music and digital.

Number of UK stores: 250

Film House, 142 Wardour Street,
London, W1F 8LN


Contact number: 020 7432 2000

Key personnel:

Gary Warren – Product Director (Michael Neil has just been announced as the new Commercial Director)
Tim Ellis – Head of Games
Martin Baxter – Re/Play Games Manager
Hannah Ebbatson – Pre Played Games Buyer
Jason Brooks – Senior Games Buyer
Nick Ashley – Games Buyer
Richard Thompson – Games Buyer
Gavin Howes – Campaign and Peripherals Buyer
Alistair Hunter – Marketing Planner
Dominic Mulroy – Head of Gamerbase
Sujoy Roy – Gamerbase Technical
Alan Taylor – Games Merchandiser
Aziz Kezer – Games Merchandiser


The supermarket has always been committed to the games market, and in the past year has grown its offer and rolled out its pre-owned range into many of its stores.

In terms of personnel, The supermarket has brought in trading assistant Luke Ashton, peripherals buyer and pre-owned manager Greg Walton as well as games buyers Duncan Tate and Dave Wilson over the past 12 months. The latter has over 25 years’ games buying experience. Tate moved over to the buying team internally from Asda’s DVD team.

The Asda team is now looking to the web, with Asda’s former games buyer Alastair Islip and former Gamestation man Frazer Locke tasked with growing the firm’s business online.

Number of UK stores: 400

Asda House, Great Wilson St, Leeds, LS11 5AD


Contact number:
0113 243 5435

Key personnel:

Andrew Thompson – Head of Games
Dave Wilson – Buyer, Games
Duncan Tate – Buyer, Games
Jenny Leach – Buyer, Games
Ben Montgomery – Buyer, Games
Laura Pritchard – Games Marketing
Luke Ashton – Trading Assistant
Greg Walton – Buyer, Peripher

About MCV Staff

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