Game Group CEO Ian Shepherd is confident that the new plan implemented by the entertainment retailer earlier this year is the right one, and he is encouraged by the early progress of the strategy.
Speaking as the company published its preliminary results for the 52 weeks to January 31st, which showed group like-for-like (LFL) sales fell 6.7 per cent and pre-tax profits dropped by £61.1 million year-on-year, Shepherd said Game is aiming to position itself where consumers want to be.
He commented: “Game is on a journey. Our customers have new and different ways to buy and play video games and we need to make sure our business provides everything they want, wherever they want it.
“Today, no other business does this for the gamer. We plan to be the first.”
Group turnover was at £1,625 million for the year, while total sales dropped 8.3 per cent.
LFL trading in the UK & Ireland was down 9.8 per cent over the year and international store and online sales both fell by two per cent compared to the 2009/10 financial year, but there are areas of the business showing signs of growth.
Revenue from Game’s pre-owned channel increased by 3.3 per cent to £386.9 million, digital revenues grew by 27 per cent to £41 million and own-label revenues rose 36 per cent to £29 million. Operating costs were also reduced by £13.7 million.
And there are signs that a greater focus on multichannel activity and customer relationship management, announced in February, is starting to bring results.
In the 12 weeks to April 23rd 2011 Game has increased its online market share from 13 to 18 per cent and continued to see strong sales growth in its pre-owned and digital revenues.
The retailer has also added 180,000 new loyalty members over the three-month period, and continuing in this manner will be central to ensuring the business provides customers with the services and products they require in the future.
Shepherd added: “We face the tough markets of 2011 with a strong balance sheet, high quality retail operations and real differentiators that few competitors can match.
“We are well placed to deal with the prevailing economic challenges and help our customers through these difficult times and consequently are maintaining guidance for the full year.
“In the longer term, we are putting Game in the right place to deliver the strongest returns as the industry continues to change and evolve.”