UK consumers will see Game UK concessions appear in WHSmith stores later this year as the retailer attempts to expand and diversify its store base.
It’s not been the easiest year for the Game Group, with the company seeing a year-on-year profit drop of 81% and missing its Christmas sales targets thanks to changing market conditions.
In response to this new market we have seen Game change its retail plan by closing its smaller stores and opening in larger locations which are able to accommodate its new gaming arenas. According to Gamesindustry.biz this plan also includes opening these smaller concessions, within larger shops.
WHSmith once also sold gaming software, but was forced to stop in 2010 as a result of tough competition from supermarkets and dedicated retailers like HMV and Game.
Adapt to suvive
With Game now closing its smaller stores, opening these concessions is a much more cost effective way for the retailer to maintain a widespread high street presence.
Large flagship Game stores will still sell a wide range of gaming software, hardware, and merchandise but they’ll also begin selling gaming services in the recently launched Gaming Arenas. These arenas, which host fan events, eSports competitions, and virtual reality experiences, are an attempt to make a more stable selling platform for the Game Group which isn’t so dependent on console cycles.
Balancing this out, the smaller concession shops will provide a smaller and more focused range of products which will appeal to consumers simply looking to quickly pick up the latest title.
As this is a trial period, Game will only be rolling out a small number of concessions this year. However, if it proves to be a successful move there’s every chance we could see more of these integrated Game stores pop up across the country.
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Emma Boyle is TechRadar’s ex-Gaming Editor, and is now a content developer and freelance journalist. She has written for magazines and websites including T3, Stuff and The Independent. Emma currently works as a Content Developer in Edinburgh.