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GAME Officially Goes Into Administration, Stores Close, CEO Reportedly Quits

March 26, 2012 Written by Sebastian Moss

UK, European and Australian retailer GAME Group have officially announced that the company has gone into administration, putting thousands of jobs at risk as stores begin to close.

GAME told customers on Facebook:

Dear GAME customers,

Here’s some important news about us. GAME Group plc (the parent company of GAME in the UK) is now in administration. We want you to know that the Administrators aim at this time is to continue trading while they seek to find a new owner for the business.

In the meantime, we’ve had to make some changes. We’ve summarised them below. Some of them are temporary, some are permanent.

1.Online Sales: We expect some disruption to our online services over the next few days while we make some changes. We apologise for the inconvenience this causes.
2.Refunds and Exchanges: Until further notice, we will not be able to offer refunds or exchanges for products purchased either before the administration or for products purchased from the date of the administration.
3.Pre-Orders: No new pre-orders can be taken until further notice. No refunds can be given for any pre-order deposits which have been paid. We are reviewing this over the next week.
4.GAME Reward card: We have had to suspended use of GAME Reward Cards. This means that points can be earned but NOT redeemed until further notice.
5.Gift cards: We have also had to suspend GAME gift cards. The value on these cards cannot be redeemed. If this changes, we will let you know. We apologise for the inconvenience this causes.
6.GAMEWallet: the value stored in GAMEwallet accounts will be suspended until further notice following the appointment of administrators.
7.Pre-owned Software: You can still buy pre owned products at great prices in your local store or online. If you trade in a pre-owned software item then you will still be able to accrue reward points and use your trade in to exchange for another item. You will not be able to trade in pre-owned software for cash. If this changes, we will let you know. We apologise for the inconvenience this causes.
8.Pre-owned Hardware: We have had to suspend trade in for pre-owned hardware at this time. If this changes, we will let you know. We apologise for the inconvenience this causes.
9.Click and Collect titles: We have had to suspend this service. We apologise for any inconvenience this causes.

MJA Jervis and SD Maddison have been appointed as Joint Administrators of The GAME Group plc, Game Stores Group Limited, Gameplay (GB) Limited, Game (Stores) Limited, Games Station Limited, Game (Retail) Limited and Gamestation Limited on 26 March 2012 to manage their affairs, business and property as their agents and without personal liability. MJA Jervis and SD Maddison are licensed in the United Kingdom to act as insolvency practitioners by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

If you have any questions please feel free to email us at: customerservices@game.co.uk

Mike Jervis and Stuart Maddison of PWC have been appointed joint-administrators of the UK and Irish arm of the retailer. Jarvis said in a statement:

The group has faced serious cashflow and profit issues over the recent past. It also has suffered from high fixed costs, an ambitious international roll-out and fluctuating working capital requirements. Despite these challenges, we believe that there is room for a specialist game retailer in the territories in which it operates, including its biggest one, the UK. As a result we are hopeful that a going concern sale of the business is achievable.

The Board would like to thank the teams of GAME and Gamestation colleagues around the world for their exemplary dedication, passion and professionalism.

Ian Shepherd, CEO of retailer GAME, has reportedly resigned from his position, according to an internal memo from GAME obtained by MCV:

I’ve said a number of times that the administrator, once appointed, takes charge of the business. Having two people try to do that is both confusing and a waste of money. With that in mind, I’ve agreed with Mike that I will step down as CEO and the business immediately – this is my final email to you all.

Continuing:

I’m sad to confirm that no deal has been done, and so I have signed the necessary paperwork this morning to allow the appointment of administrators. The process has been finalised, and so Mike Jarvis from PwC takes charge immediately.

He will have a lot to do very quickly. Let’s be clear, he will certainly make big changes, both to the store estate and in the office, but will be doing so with a view to creating a trading business that he can attract a buyer for.

As I’ve said before, the business is worth more trading than not. It’s going to be a difficult week for everyone, but the best thing you can all do is support Mike and his team, and do your best to help create the most positive outcome you can.

Mike will be communicating more with all of you today, both face to face where possible and by email, so watch out for that.

Reports of store closures have begun to hit the internet as hundreds of GAME and Gamestation stores are now closed. Some stores, however, remain open – presumably until they run out of stock.