GameStop Abandons U.K. Stores

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GameStop Abandons U.K. Stores

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The U.S. based retail chain closed its last stores in Northern Ireland this weekend.

Until recently, GameStop had quite a few stores in the United Kingdom but the retailer is closing up shop. Customers dropping by stores in Newry and Belfast this weekend saw shutters closed and flyers redirecting them to the GameStop UK website for all commerce from now on. GameStop representatives have gone on record saying the closures were all part of the plan to serve British customers via the online portal only. Apparently, that plan doesn't include stores in the Republic of Ireland, as all of those stores are unaffected.

"We are transferring all of our UK business on-line," the flyers all read. "We will honor all outstanding deposits and gift cards."

GameStop said that the closures are a calculated move. "The recent store closures in Northern Ireland are part of our plan, announced six months ago, to exit the UK market from a brick and mortar perspective," said GameStop's commercial director Michael Finucane.

"We started this process last year closing our Birmingham, Stockport and Belfast locations," he said. "Correspondingly, we have experienced tremendous sales growth on our UK ecommerce site. Our go forward plan is to serve the UK market with enhanced digital and online offerings."

I'm not sure if there are political motivations behind this withdrawal, but the borders seem to suggest something going on behind the scenes. Why would GameStop abandon one territory when it is clearly successful in Ireland already with 20+ stores? Why stop at the border?

Source: MCV

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That seems unusual.. Not making money I guess?

Good thing the Irish (republic of, that is) stores aren't closing. Thats the only place I can get reasonably priced games.

I never knew we had a Gamestop in Britain. Learn something new everyday.

Wasn't that where the truck holding a shipment of Modern Warfare 3 got jacked? If so...they're probably like 'Jesus, these people are insane. ABORT, ABORT!'

That might have been in France, though...

Sovvolf:
I never knew we had a Gamestop in Britain. Learn something new everyday.

Same here. Thinking about it, that's probably why.

Greg Tito:
Why stop at the border?

As someone who lived in Belfast and had family in Newry, i'd say it was a long time coming. There are already 2 GAME stores in Belfast right by the Gamestop, and the Gamestop had 2. Also it was really crowded in that part of the city ontop of Gamestop having poorer Sales and deals (pre-owned where waaaay to expensive) Us Northern folk tend to be a picky bunch so GAME usally gets more sales and crowds.

One would imagine this probably has something to do with the Euro and the Pound, but I have absolutely no idea what, cause all economic stuff eludes me.

*reads title*
We have gamestop?

Sovvolf:
I never knew we had a Gamestop in Britain. Learn something new everyday.

Ditto.

We have GAME and GameStation anyway, we don't really need a third games shop.

Greg Tito:

I'm not sure if there are political motivations behind this withdrawal, but the borders seem to suggest something going on behind the scenes. Why would GameStop abandon one territory when it is clearly successful in Ireland already with 20+ stores? Why stop at the border?

Its very simple, Irish corporation tax is 12.5% and UK corporation tax is 26%. They will have their EU headquaters in Ireland and operate online sales from there, paying 12.5% less tax. Google and Microsoft do the same.

FamoFunk:

Sovvolf:
I never knew we had a Gamestop in Britain. Learn something new everyday.

Ditto.

We have GAME and GameStation anyway, we don't really need a third games shop.

We probably do.

GAME and Gamestation are owned by the same company, so as such, they pretty much have a monopoly on game only retail.

It doesn't effect me though, I realised a long time ago that the brick and mortar stores rip off their customers, so I buy all my games online.

If you're looking for a great online reatailer, I'd recommend ShopTo.net.

And nothing of value was lost. :p

OT: I'm curious what the actual reason for GameStop leaving the U.K. For some reason methinks that monies are involved.

I live near Stockport and I can just say that there was no point in GameStop in the UK. In Stockport alone, there's like 6 other more popular chain stores that sell games near it. It's brand recognition. It's not popular over here so it's not used.

Feel sorry for the people who worked there though. When ever a shop closes, that's a few more unemployed added to the list.

Daystar Clarion:

FamoFunk:

Sovvolf:
I never knew we had a Gamestop in Britain. Learn something new everyday.

Ditto.

We have GAME and GameStation anyway, we don't really need a third games shop.

We probably do.

GAME and Gamestation are owned by the same company, so as such, they pretty much have a monopoly on game only retail.

It doesn't effect me though, I realised a long time ago that the brick and mortar stores rip off their customers, so I buy all my games online.

If you're looking for a great online reatailer, I'd recommend ShopTo.net.

True. That being said, I think it's simply a matter of time before they throw in the towel also.

Not that I really care. They never sell the games I want to play.

eh, I prefered GAME anyway, their shop has a nicer colour scheme, play quiter and better music, have better prices and none of the staff have terrible facial hair.

Yeah I am biased, still it is a shame people will lose their jobs :/

One more plus the the GAME strangle hold over games sales in brick and mortar in the UK. I don't think there is a games seller near buy not owned by them now. They also seem the be the ones behind the keeping of games of the UK steam store for a few months but there is no solid evidence towards this.

Didn't even know about Gamestop in Britain. Weird.

GameStop failed in the UK because they never established a presence here.

- I have never once seen an advert for GameStop in the UK. Not online, not on TV, not on billboards. So far as I can tell they had barely any stores in the country, so unless you happened to live near one and walk past it you'd never know they were here.
- Too much competition. You've got HMV, Game, and independent stores (of which most reasonably-sized town centres will have at least one) for new games, and CeX and independent stores for second-hand. Plus most tech-savvy people would be getting their stuff online anyway.
- As far as I can tell they were never that serious about going into the UK market anyway. Not having any stores in Greater London at all suggests that they were just dipping their toe into the market before going for high-competition, high-rent locations. They gave it a test run, figured that they weren't getting good results, and left.

What the heck?!...I honestly never knew GameStop had shops in the UK, i've certainly never seen one. :/

Oh well...

Eh, no biggie, everyone in northern Ireland gets their games from GAME or xtravison anyway every gamestop I went to was rubbish anyway.

FamoFunk:

Sovvolf:
I never knew we had a Gamestop in Britain. Learn something new everyday.

Ditto.

We have GAME and GameStation anyway, we don't really need a third games shop.

but GAME and GameStation are one and the same, then again Gamestop's prices arn't the best so I'm not that bothered.

aw man! I'm about to visit Ireland too haha
ah not that I was really going to stop by a Gamestop while traveling anyway :P

well okay maybe.

GAME and Gamestop are equally awful in my eyes. Actively ruining games by demanding exclusive content in exchange for shelf space or Blocking digital distributors from selling certain games by threatening the publishers.

Well that second one is GAME only. At least Gamestop had the decency not to monopolize a games distribution in their country of origin.

I never knew there was a UK GameStop. No wonder they're shutting down.

Not particularly happy that GAME/GameStation is the only games specialist chain left. Their selection is pot luck at the best of times, and if you want a PC game, they only stock chart or bargain bin titles.

Sovvolf:
I never knew we had a Gamestop in Britain. Learn something new everyday.

Aye, aye. The first thought that popped into my head when I read that headline was "We have Gamestop stores in the UK". Probably understandable, as I don't see any Scottish locations mentioned in this article.

Guess they never made it to these lands north of the wall. Ah well, no great loss I suppose. There are plenty of other retailers here with insufficient/nonexistent stock of the ME3 collectors edition (my hate for the day). Grrr....

FFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU
damn i was planning to go there on friday

I find it interesting the amount of British people who didn't know Gamestop was even in the UK, in the Republic they're huge, way bigger than GAME or anyone else. I could name 6 locations off the top of my head, and they seem to do well enough. Culturally, they are THE game shop in Ireland, they advertise the most, they're talked about the most etc
Kind of a wierd one, but I do think the corporate tax thing is a big part of it.

WHAT? do they have other games stores in that pat of the world?

we dont have gamestop in Australia...but EB games is owned by them....concerning

I didn't even know gamestop existed in the UK, the only physical game shops i know of are Game and Gamestation and i don't even use them anymore since i found shopto.net....

In fact now that i think about it i have never seen a single advert for gamestop on tv...

I didn't even know they were in the Uk :o
Awell wont miss what i didn't know was there.

I agree with you, Greg. There's something going on behind the scenes.

Can we hope this wave spreads to the States?

GAME and Gamestation have already monopolized the game retail market in the U.K. (GAME and Gamestation are essentially owned by the same company, don't let it fool you, GAME just wear a more eye-sore uniform) And even they're struggling what with so much content going online. I don't think Ireland had as many stores therefore business was more competitive.

This is it plain and simple.

I knew Gamestop existed SOMEWHERE in the U.K. But our market is already saturated, they'd have to have pushed really hard to make it.

This is why I worry about Netflix... I love it in the U.S. But it's U.K. Launch and amount of stuff in it has been lackluster, and when competing against already established LOVEFilm, I really think U.S. retailers have to realize how much of a chore it is breaking into the U.K.

U.K. is a small island(s), business spreads quickly and fills up niches doubly so. To push your own little post in there you have to really push hard.

imnotparanoid:
I prefered GAME anyway, their shop has a nicer colour scheme, play quiter and better music, have better prices and none of the staff have terrible facial hair.

...True we don't have terrible facial hair but our colour scheme gives me a headache somedays, sometimes I just look at gamestation and pine for that simple red and gray... And that music while...quiet has permanently imprinted into my braaain. Same CD... Every...Day...

I really hope Gamestop UK has a better system for used sales than Gamestop US. I never even attempt to buy used through their online store because 90% of the time I'll get "not available online", which just gives me more cause to go to Amazon for both new and used sales. It's usually cheaper on Amazon anyway.

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