GAME – Thoughts on how to not lose it…

So upon reading that the GAME Group has been saved by a buyout worth about £1, I got thinking about where the chain has gone wrong and what could potentially make it a decent place on the high street for picking up games…

Cut down on duplicate stores in the same area

This has been partly done to an extent, with loss making stores being closed down a couple of weeks ago. I can remember going into Crawley a while ago and there were three stores all within a 5 minute walk from each other. A little wasteful to say the least – I think the group would have been better retaining the larger store and removed the smaller ones. That way the overheads would be reduced and thus more profit would be fed back to the company from that town.

There are other towns that have multiple stores in the same place – If I recall correctly, Portsmouth has / had multiple stores within a short distance.

Appeal to PC Gamers more

At the moment, in all the GAME stores I’ve been to, I’ve noticed (as have many people) that the place is geared towards the console market fairly heavily. There are next to no PC peripherals available and there is a very limited selection of games – mainly budget ones.

Although a lot of people prefer digital distribution and in many cases, digital distribution is the only way to obtain certain games, there is still a chance to cash in on this market. For example, adding more PC peripherals to the stock (such as gaming mice / keyboards – even PC upgrades). Branching out to another target audience should attract some more people and thus, put more sales through the tills.

Have store based tournaments

An idea to make people come in – have a few consoles set up in larger stores for tournaments – using PCs isn’t really viable due to the expense of frequent upgrades, but a console will generally have a longer lifecycle and thus be cheaper to run.

By having multiplayer tournaments, it will encourage more people into the store. More people coming in, is equal to more potential sales.

In my opinion, the best way to set this up would be to have a small fee for entering (for example £3 – £5), with a prize for the best player(s) – such as either store credit or a new release. The combined entry fees should reimburse the cost of the prize, thus in theory a loss shouldn’t be made as long as enough people turned up.

This would also help GAME become a destination for gamers to socialise as well as pick up some new games.

Take a look at the way pre-owned sales are handled

Preowned sales – although the console deals really aren’t that bad, the games can be a tad overpriced to say the least – a preowned copy of a recent game can still more expensive than a new version at the local supermarket in some places. A review of the pricing system on preowned goods to bring it down a tad and provide more of a bargain for the customer – the better the deal, the more chance of the customer returning for more.

Personally, I’d like to be able to buy more retro games as well, but then again I can’t imagine the market being that large. Either way, the odd N64 game wouldn’t hurt.

Staff training

The staff members at my local store are fantastic – enthusiastic and most certainly gamers themselves. However, this isn’t the case across the company – I’d suggest better training to bring staff up to date on games, so they can better interact with the customers and even suggest sales (for example “I see you’re buying game X – might I suggest from experience that you may enjoy game Y once you’re done”)

So there we go – a few thoughts on what might help GAME pick up the pieces, clear some debts and hopefully become more of a consumer friendly, profitable business.

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