Trouble brewing for independent UK shop chain Grainger Games

"This has come as a shock to us all..."

Trouble is brewing for independent 70-shop UK chain Grainger Games. Nervous money lenders have apparently pulled or squashed their credit offerings following Toys R Us and Maplin sinking into administration.

"Confidence in UK high street retail has been at an all-time low which has been further impacted by recent retailer failures," Grainger Games CEO Stephen Bowyer told Chronicle Live.

"On the back of this, we have very recently been notified that Grainger has had or will have certain supplier credit limits cut or removed. This has come as a shock to us all and presents a significant operating challenge driven by factors outside our control."

Immediate effects appear to be Grainger Games no longer offering pre-orders, and displaying many popular titles as out of stock.

Grainger is apparently in talks with a number of parties about the future of the business.

The company began life in Newcastle's Grainger Market 21 years ago.

Grainger employs around 400 people across its fleet of shops located mostly in the north of the UK. Last year the business reported a loss of £1.3m, following a £223,000 loss the year before. Some big titles underperformed, apparently, and pre-owned sales slowed down.

It's a tough old world out there for bricks and mortar game shops. The retailer GAME fell apart in 2012 and for a while things looked very bleak. It clung onto life and trades again but the business is changing - a fact made glaringly clear when GAME recently announced plans to open concessions in Sports Direct shops of all places. And that's the UK's biggest video game chain - life for an independent UK video game shop is even harder.

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Robert Purchese

Robert Purchese

Senior Staff Writer  |  Clert

Bertie is senior staff writer and Eurogamer's Poland-and-dragons correspondent. He's part of the furniture here, a friendly chair, and reports on all kinds of things, the stranger the better.


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