By Claire Reilly
The Australian gaming retailer Game has gone into administration today, with questions still remaining as to the fate of more than 500 employees that work in the retailer's 92 Australian stores.
Following speculation about the retailer, PricewaterhouseCoopers today released an official statement confirming its appointment of company partners Kate Warwick and Greg Hall as voluntary administrators of TGW Pty Limited, trading as GAME.
Speaking about the administration, Warwick said PwC would strive to maintain “business as usual” for the retailer.
“Initially we will continue to trade all stores, operating these on as close to a 'business as usual' mode as possible whilst we get a clearer understanding of the current state of the business and actively pursue options to secure its future,” she said.
“Prior to our appointment, the company’s management had been exploring interest in investing in the business with a number of parties and we will look to see whether this interest can be harnessed to continue the business or part of it through the voluntary administration process.”
“While we are still investigating the causes behind the Australian administration; the impact of the administration of its parent, an ambitious national roll-out combined with the current soft retail environment appear to be key factors.
The UK parent Australia’s Game chain, Game Group PLC, filed for administration in March of this year, stating that there was “no equity value left in the Group”. Following this, Game Australia’s managing director Paul Yardley issued a statement saying that the issues facing the UK branch of the company “don’t necessarily impact us here”.
However, less than two months after these comments, the Australian subsidiary has followed the same path as the UK parent.
While the future for the retailer’s staff is under question, it is also unclear where Game’s customers are left following today’s news, with many Australian consumers still holding loyalty cards, gift cards and vouchers.
Speaking about these liabilities, Warwick said, “We are working on schemes aimed at giving customers some return on these claims if they are used to make additional purchases”. According to PwC, “further details will be available to customers on-line or in store from appointment”.
Current understands that retailers were sent an email regarding the voluntary administration, instructing them on commercial strategies for the day, and operational limitations for individual retailers on the shop floor. One retailer also told Current that the operational limitations included the stipulation that Game retailers only trade in cash.
The retailer also indicated that staff had been given little advice on the future of the company beyond today’s operations, saying they had not been given details of who to direct consumer concerns to.
As news of the administration spreads, consumers will no doubt be turning to Game’s shopfronts to learn more about their entitlements now that the retailer has folded.
Speaking about the disgruntled customers that may come into stores, one retailer said, “I’m not looking forward to today”.