Struggling retailer could be saved at cost of jobs
British video game retailer GAME Digital has received a takeover bid of £51.9 million from Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct enterprise.
Sports Direct purchased 26% of GAME’s shares back in 2017 but recently upped this stake to 38% which has automatically triggered the takeover bid. Sports Direct has openly stated that it believes GAME will not survive unless it accepts the offer, though the expansive enterprise also noted that many stores and jobs will still be at risk even if GAME sells up.
“The retail and gaming sectors are fast moving and currently subject to challenging conditions,” said a Sports Direct statement. “Sports Direct does not believe that, as a standalone business, GAME is able to weather the pressures that it is facing. Sports Direct believes that the offer, in providing GAME with the wider benefit of Sports Direct’s operating and other experience and increased support, will secure GAME’s future and allow it to navigate these pressures.”
GAME has dodged the axe multiple times in recent years. Having lost 270 stores back in 2012 after falling into administration, GAME remains one of the very few bricks-and-mortar video game outlets in the U.K. This is a common story of the modern British high street, which once thrived and bustled, but has seen many popular retailers fall away due to the convenience of internet shopping, a reluctance to change with the times, and/or poor political decisions. The fallout has been hard on all of retail, from gaming to clothing, newsagents to “poundshops,” with many once-successful companies pulling down the shutters long ago.