Game preps marketing drive after pulling through ‘transformational year’

After toppling into administration two years ago, Game is seemingly back with the retailer’s management hailing the role of marketing in sparking a sales rush in its latest financial year.

Game has refitted all its stores to fuel its omni-channel strategy.
Game has refitted all its stores to fuel its omni-channel strategy.

The retailer, resurrected as Game Digital, said the investments helped it overcome a “transformational year” when sales rocketed 31 per cent to £681.8m in the 52 weeks to 26 July. It caps off a swift turnaround for a business that was floated on the stock exchange in June after being rescued from administration in 2012 by private equity firm OpCapita.

The shakeup saw Game axe 600 stores and pull out of Australia, Portugal, Scandinavia, France, Portugal and Eastern Europe to focus on the UK and Spain. The retailer pushed the freed up funds into growing its digital footprint, which led to its ecommerce site, app, reward programme and online ‘Game Wallet” proving a hit with gamers.

The investments shifted 1.5 million exclusive Game-only deals in its financial year, equating to exclusive customers being 3.5 times more valuable than regular shoppers, the company said. The brand’s sideways move into selling second-hand electronics through its GameTronics stores was also singled out as another success.

It said the marketing initiatives had won share in the UK and Spain. More than a million new customers have signed up to its reward programme over the last year, pushing its total membership to more than 16 million. Additionally, all stores were refitted to support the retailer’s upcoming omnichannel plans.

Moving forward, the retailer said “significant marketing” was being primed to raise awareness. Online content, personalisation and its eWallet will receive a major slice of the investments with the business pledging to put customer engagement and insight at the heart of the brand. It puts pressure on the company’s search for a marketing chief to steer the plan after Ailsa McKnight left the business in July.

Martyn Gibbs, chief executive, said: “Our gaming communities lie at the heart of our business and we remain focused on working closely with our supplier partners, innovating and investing in our offer, to ensure we consistently deliver the best interactive gaming experiences possible.

“As we move into the key trading months of the year we are encouraged by the strength of the line-up of new physical and digital games being launched and are well positioned, with exclusives secured on many of the major pre-Christmas new game releases, great deals on both mint and preowned, increased supplier credit, and financing facilities in place in both the UK and Spain.”

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