Beleagueredvideogames retailer GAME Australia has confirmed the financial woes experienced by its UKcounterparthave hit Down Under, meaning the chain has officially entered administration.
As reported on Kotaku AU, confirmation of the move came from an internal email sent to all GAME stores, but staff suspected the writing was on the wall when it was noted the chain would not be stocking the highly anticipated Diablo III.
As recently as two months ago, GAME Australia's Managing Director Paul Yardley was downplaying the impact that the UK operations had on local stores. "It’s not as if we go into administration straight away if they do," he said, before assuring customers that "we will keep stocking the latest releases, as well as honouring all our pre-orders." Diablo III's no-show on GAME shelves paints a somewhat different picture, however.
The move into administration also suggests that GAME Australia was unable to secure an investor for the chain, nor were they able to sell the brand to a willing buyer - options that Yardley was pursuing back in March.
We will update this story as more information comes to light.
UPDATE: PricewaterhouseCoopers, appointed voluntary administrators of GAME, supplied GamesRadar AU with this statement:
PwC partners Kate Warwick and Greg Hall have been appointed Voluntary Administrators of TGW Pty Limited – trading as GAME.
GAME is a retailer of video games, games consoles and PC software & accessories and operates 92 stores across Australia, employing c.500 staff.
TGW Pty Limited is a subsidiary of The GAME Group Plc, a UK public company which was placed into administration on 26 March 2012.
Kate Warwick, PwC partner, said, “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.”
Ms. Warwick added “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.”
TGW Pty Limited’s UK based parent company faced serious cash flow and profit issues. “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,” said Ms. Warwick.
Further updates will be made to creditors as soon as more information becomes available.
Ms. Warwick also noted that the company’s customers hold various claims against the company under loyalty cards, gift cards and vouchers. Ms. Warwick said “We are working on schemes aimed at giving customers some return on these claims if they are used to make additional purchases.” Further details will be available to customers on-line or in store from appointment.