Game and Gamestation shops close in Norwich, Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft
Four game shops in Norfolk and Waveney have closed after struggling video games retailer Game Group collapsed into administration.
Professional services firm PwC has been appointed administrator to the UK operations of Game Group, which has 609 stores across the UK, including in Norwich, King's Lynn, Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft and Bury St Edmunds.
Those which closed yesterday include the Game shop on St Stephen's Street and the Gamestation shop in Castle Mall shopping centre, both in Norwich.
Gamestation shops in unit 10 of Market Gates in Great Yarmouth and London Road in Lowestoft have also closed.
Shops in the Britten Centre in Lowestoft, Unit 13 of Market Gates in Great Yarmouth, the Butter Market in Bury St Edmunds and Norfolk Street and the High Street in King's Lynn will continue trading.
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Almost 50 jobs across East Anglia will go.
The chain, which employs 385 staff at its headquarters in Basingstoke, Hampshire, and around 5,100 in its stores, has suffered dire trading in recent months, while some suppliers refused to stock the retailer as its worsening finances came under increased scrutiny.
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PwC said it was hopeful that Game could be sold.
The group's lenders were reportedly working on plans to buy a slimmed-down version of the retailer out of administration.
A consortium of existing banks led by state-backed Royal Bank of Scotland is understood to be among three potential bidders, along with American rival Gamestop and OpCapita, which recently acquired consumer electronics business Comet.
Mike Jervis, joint administrator and partner at PwC, said: 'The group has faced serious cashflow and profit issues over the recent past.
'It also has suffered from high fixed costs, an ambitious international roll-out and fluctuating working capital requirements.
'Despite these challenges, we believe that there is room for a specialist game retailer in the territories in which it operates, including its biggest one – the UK. As a result we are hopeful that a going-concern sale of the business is achievable.'
Game last week said it planned to appoint an administrator, having admitted there was no value left in the company.