UK Retailer ‘GAME’ To Stop Trade-Ins, Prompting Concern
It was recently suggested by staff working in the UK’s biggest video games retailer, GAME, that the company is to cease accepting ‘trade-ins’. This is a staggering revelation, as for more than twenty years, the firm has offered a wide range of pre-owned products, including consoles, software, and mobile devices.
As per a report published in Eurogamer, GAME will stop accepting trade-ins from February 16, marking the end of an era and making it more difficult for gamers to afford brand-new games and consoles. For the longest time, pre-owned products made up a vast portion of GAME’s revenue and trade, with the firm offering deals on trade-ins, running price comparison promotions, and stacking the shelves high with yellow-labelled, second-hand products.
Will GAME Stop Trade-Ins?
For years, GAME has been steadily declining, working its way down from being a staple of the British high street and an instantly recognisable go-to for gamers across the United Kingdom. Since the early 1990s, GAME has been the top video game retailer in the UK, and while competitors have come and gone, the purple-branded chain remained a stalwart presence – despite its own internal struggles.
Sadly, GAME is a shadow of its former self. It hit a peak between 2012 and 2015 as the company was pulled out of administration concerns and gaming underwent a boom. In the space of a few years, we saw launches like Grand Theft Auto 5, Black Ops II, and the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles, and it proved to be a fruitful time for GAME. As per the company’s operating model, pre-owned sales were also sky-high, and trade-ins were the bread and butter of the business.
Since then, GAME has slipped, closing most of its high street stores and retreating into the back rooms of Sports Direct stores across the UK. It’s now more focused on selling toys, board games, and collectables than it is on games, most would argue. It has consistently high prices that cannot compete with online retailers, and despite having around 300 locations across Britain, it’s almost an afterthought for gamers when it comes to buying new software or hardware.
If GAME is going to stop trade-ins – which seems to be the case – it could be the beginning of the end for the firm. Once the stock of pre-owned games has been depleted, GAME will be left to push nothing but low-margin, high-priced games, consoles, and toys to a dwindling market in the United Kingdom. Could GAME retreat further and become an online-only retailer, or worse still, implode entirely and shut down in the very near future?
We’ve reached out to representatives of GAME as the company is yet to officially announce this change.