Game shop

How A Retailer Keeps Cheating Death

Over the past few years, many retailers have had moments where they have struggled against the shifting sands of the industry.

Facing a seismic shift in buyer behaviour, as well as supply chain issues and the potential for a recession and cost-of-living crisis, many retailers are weighing up their options.

For larger companies with strong commercial retail maintenance arms, they can typically weather the storm with large resources, whilst small businesses have the flexibility to adapt to changing situations and the agility to scale up or shrink down their operations.

However, many medium-sized retailers often struggle and are typically the first companies to collapse and disappear from high streets. This most famously happened with Woolworths in 2009 and Toys R Us in 2018.

One surprising exception to this is the UK Retailer GAME, formed as the Rhino Group in 1992 and through a series of mergers, most notably its acquisition by rival Electronics Boutique and its later purchase of Gamestation in 2007, became the biggest video game retailer in the UK.

This became a poisoned chalice, however, as the perils of the global financial crisis hit the leisure and entertainment industry particularly hard, fundamentally changing and shrinking the landscape of physical retail for computer games in the UK.

In 2012, supplier credit issues led to new games becoming withheld from the retailer, which was the first sign of a potential administration, which came to pass on 26th March 2012.

They were bought out of administration by turnaround specialists OpCapita and managed a surprising turnaround, offering a wider retail experience and selling more than physical video game titles.

This, alongside a renewed focus on their online store and loyalty scheme, helped the company regain its market share, and ultimately it would be bought by the Frasers Group in 2019, with many GAME stores relocating inside of the larger Sports Direct and House of Fraser establishments.