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Opinion

Why Game's Interest In HMV Stores Could Be Very Exciting

Risk reaps reward.

A story emerged today that Game has approached Deloitte, the administrators, to enquire about buying up to 45 of HMV’s stores. Game stores are usually quite compact. HMV stores are often quite spacious. So why would the recently troubled videogame specialist now be interested in the currently-troubled entertainment retailer’s unwanted shop units?

We should consider, at least, the possibility that Game’s interest is in the smallest of HMV’s retail units. That wouldn’t represent too much of a floor-space increase over the larger Game stores and it’s conceivable that they’d just cram in an extra row of shelves here and there and stack FIFA and Call of Duty boxes that little bit more spaciously.

Now that we’ve got the sensible option out of the way, let’s consider the radical things Game could do with some of HMV’s more typical, larger shop floors.


There are some smaller stores, perhaps the move is simply for those units?
It’s been suggested that another rapid expansion for Game, so soon after their own period of administration and eventual rescue package, is a tragic misjudgement. I’m more inclined to think that it hints at the kind of radical thinking needed from the videogame specialist. Sure, it’s a risk. But with the economy as it is and the videogames market in substantial decline, perhaps a risk is what’s needed. It’s also probably a good time to do something exciting for a videogame retailer.

The last year has been difficult, with customers spending less and the digital side of the market encroaching more and more. This is not entirely unexpected, as the entire industry prepares for a new generation of consoles. For Game, that new generation of consoles might just be worth banking on. The hope is that a new generation will bring with it a rush of enthusiasm, breathing new life into game retail. Game’s bosses might see potential expansion – and into larger stores – as an opportunity to place themselves in a strong position to capitalise on the newly invigorated market.

It’s often said that high street retailers in the UK should be looking to modernise their businesses by offering an experience that you simply can’t get from cheaper online stores. With more floorspace, Game could offer new and exciting services that attract people to its stores. Game is in a perfect position to not only build a new loyal customer base but to build a new community around its stores.


Most HMV stores are a bit bigger than typical Game locations.
Imagine a large Game store with a seating area, free wi-fi and refreshments on sale. Imagine chiller cabinets packed with Mountain Dew and racks filled with Doritos. Imagine charging stations for your handheld consoles, iPods, tablets and smartphones.

Imagine banks of connected consoles running Black Ops II playlists and FIFA friendlies. Imagine being able to buy a PSN card and then sit with a cup of coffee, reading a Game-branded magazine while your Vita downloads the latest PSN Store delights for you to play on the bus home.

Larger stores could offer Game the chance to have larger plans. They could host tournaments, demonstrations and celebrations of gaming. They could hold midnight launch parties that are more than just a line of cold, tired, grumpy gamers with a free mini bag of Haribo. They could host Wii Fit exercise classes on a Tuesday evening and a Sunday league for FIFA fans with oranges at half time.

Game could offer a unique and enticing service to their new community that could put them at the centre of games culture in the UK. They could finally offer something really interesting that it’s simply impossible for online retailers to do.

Sometimes it’s worth taking a big risk to do something special.

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29 Comments
  1. gaffers101
    Member
    Since: Oct 2008

    If Game had bigger stores, I’d like to see more (working) demo consoles set up – 3 of each platform at least, playing the latest games.
    What about including a coffee shop too??

    Comment posted on 18/01/2013 at 12:38.
    • yiddo
      Member
      Since: Jun 2010

      This would be very expensive to employ in the majority of their stores, but in their bigger and most popular ones it would be a good direction to go.

      Comment posted on 18/01/2013 at 13:29.
      • SH Number 7/Mini-Lipscombe
        Member
        Since: May 2011

        Well our local GAME, has a Wii U pod which is actually a emulator and not the console it’s self which it can only play a few games that are set to the machine (which can be changed and updated with memory cards) this is a much cheaper option that they could do. Only problem is someone tried to steal the gamepad, which was NOT wireless and it was secured with a cable, only problem was that the cable was longer than the wires so all the wires for the pad have been destroyed.

        Comment posted on 18/01/2013 at 15:42.
    • rossthebassist
      Member
      Since: Nov 2009

      if its anything like the old days then they would have to radically change the business plan to make this viable.
      When i worked for gamestation (may as well have been game at the end) pods were hidden away because people would come in play and not buy anything, which ruined conversion targets (people visiting to people buying) and you would get a jolly good old thrashing by the regional

      Comment posted on 18/01/2013 at 18:39.
    • Sillyseason
      Member
      Since: Jan 2013

      Considering almost all the Game stores I have ever been in, have their Demo PS3′s turned off, as Microsoft local reps bunged them free stuff to do so, I can’t see this working…

      Comment posted on 20/01/2013 at 21:13.
  2. Takyu
    Member
    Since: Aug 2012

    That sounds like an amazing idea! Fingers crossed it will turn out that way!

    Comment posted on 18/01/2013 at 12:46.
  3. Mike
    Member
    Since: Oct 2008

    Personally I think they’ll be over stretching themselves and risk what Peacocks did. Opening new stores and being forced to shut them down again just to try and survive. I think the average HMV sized store would be too large for GAME

    Comment posted on 18/01/2013 at 12:46.
  4. Kreisash
    Member
    Since: May 2010

    This is exactly what I was thinking that HMV and any other specialist retailer of this type (electronics, music, games) needs to do to stay alive against online, although admittedly it wasn’t Game I was thinking of, but it makes sense.
    It could work in theory if they pitched it right, at the right cost.

    For instance, charge for every little thing at ridiculous prices and you won’t have anyone stopping by.
    Likewise, if everything was free, then people would just come for that and nothing else.
    They would also need people who connect to their customers, both casual and core.

    Most importantly though, they need to be able to justify their higher prices by giving an experience that can’t be given online while not taking the p155 at the same time. (It would help if their online arm didn’t undercut their high street prices too).

    Hosting tournaments and competitions would also help.

    Comment posted on 18/01/2013 at 12:47.
  5. quinkill
    Member
    Since: Oct 2010

    I like it!

    Comment posted on 18/01/2013 at 13:19.
  6. kjkg
    Member
    Since: Apr 2010

    Imagine just before PS4/Xbox720 launch. 4 of each or more playing the latest games. Then right next to it, boxes and boxes of stock with maybe one or two guys that know what they are talking about, telling you the finer details of the system. Or even discussing other games. Encouraging you to try them.

    That would sell consoles.

    Comment posted on 18/01/2013 at 13:28.
  7. Shalashaska
    Member
    Since: Aug 2009

    I’ve been wondering why the sixthaxis has picked up the fact that hmv has closed all of its Irish stores leaving 300 people out of a job and is trying to get away with not paying them a months wage that they are owed. I think it’s absolutely despicable that they are treating their Irish staff like this and it should be getting more media attention than it is.

    Comment posted on 18/01/2013 at 13:29.
  8. Shalashaska
    Member
    Since: Aug 2009

    I’ve been wondering why the sixthaxis hasnt picked up the fact that hmv has closed all of its Irish stores leaving 300 people out of a job and is trying to get away with not paying them a months wage that they are owed. I think it’s absolutely despicable that they are treating their Irish staff like this and it should be getting more media attention than it is.

    Comment posted on 18/01/2013 at 13:29.
    • bunimomike
      Member
      Since: Jul 2009

      Oooo, has it not? That’s bloody awful. Hopefully the media will latch onto this like a barnacle on a ship hull.

      Comment posted on 18/01/2013 at 13:57.
    • Peter Chapman
      Team TSA: Editor
      Since: Forever

      I saw this but I assumed it was a quirk of Irish bankruptcy law because the same thing happened when Game went into administration, didn’t it?

      I know literally nothing about the Irish process of administration so the research alone would take hours. The sad fact is, with limited time, it’s easier to run the administration coverage from a UK perspective because that’s what we know.

      Don’t forget that we take guest submissions though, if you wanted to write something about the situation. Just try to make sure it’s well fact checked and as balanced as possible and we’ll consider it :)

      Comment posted on 18/01/2013 at 14:02.
      • SH Number 7/Mini-Lipscombe
        Member
        Since: May 2011

        The redundancy thing was a big clusterfuck any way, I haven’t been paid mine from Gamestation, but I left it as it all got too confusing, and I wasn’t there long enough to get much money from then anyway.

        Comment posted on 18/01/2013 at 15:44.
  9. OnlineAssassin77
    Member
    Since: Jun 2012

    Not sure about the wii fit exercise classes on a Tuesday evening or any evening or day for that matter :D

    Comment posted on 18/01/2013 at 13:35.
    • gaffers101
      Member
      Since: Oct 2008

      Could be fun to watch though….lol

      Comment posted on 18/01/2013 at 13:39.
  10. hazelam
    Member
    Since: Feb 2009

    some good ideas there, but would they do something like that or just have more shelf space?

    like you said, thinking outside the box could be a good move.

    Comment posted on 18/01/2013 at 13:46.
    • teflon
      Community Team
      Since: May 2009

      If there are sensible and clever people at the top, then this mash-up of Games Workshop, Apple and larger book stores, where there are events, more open spaces and more opportunities to kill time inside are surely going to be on the cards.

      If they can build up more reasons to visit the stores, then they’ll sell more games.

      Comment posted on 18/01/2013 at 15:52.

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