Game 'uncertain' of future as suppliers hold back stock

Board working to resolve problems quickly

Game 'uncertain' of future as suppliers hold back stock
| GAME news

After a weekend of mass price cuts in a bid to generate capital, UK retailer Game has confirmed suppliers are withholding stock as fears rise the company will soon enter administration.

In an official statement, the company said it "remains in discussions with its suppliers and lenders" in order to keep trading, but admitted it had "not been possible to source new products from a number of suppliers."

What's in store

"The Board of Game is working actively to resolve these issues as quickly as possible," added the retailer.

"This includes ongoing discussions with suppliers, seeking access to the original facility or alternative sources of funding, and reviewing the position of all of its assets in the UK and international territories.

"It is uncertain whether any of the solutions currently being explored by the Board will be successful or will result in any value being attributed to the shares of the company."

The news comes as the BBC reports prospective buyers – such as US chain GameStop – are reluctant to make a move until Game enters administration.

"We suspect that any potential suitor would prefer to wait for a formal administration process," said Mark Photiades of Singer Capital Markets.

"Through a pre-pack, the suitor would have much greater flexibility around store liabilities."

Problem player

The chain, which was founded back in 1991 and has 1,300 stores worldwide, has been in trouble ever since sales over the Christmas period fell 12.9 percent on a like-for-like basis.

As a result, Game expects to post a pre-tax loss of £18 million for the year ending January.

Speculation as to the cause of the firm's long term problems has been rife, with Pocket Gamer editor-in-chief Kristan Reed recently claiming the retailer had failed to adapt to the changing nature of the industry.

"The truth is that many gamers have noticed how much more creativity there is on games for mobile platforms, and prefer to reward those titles, while perhaps spending their home gaming time playing Black Ops or World Of Warcraft night after night," said Reed.

"My gut feeling is that Game's problems ultimately stem from an inability to adapt to a market that has changed almost overnight."

[source: Game]

Keith Andrew
Keith Andrew
With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font. He's also Pocket Gamer's resident football gaming expert and, thanks to his work on, monitors the market share of all mobile OSes on a daily basis.