One store folds but another is saved... for now

The signs up in the window of Gamestation, Queens Road
The signs up in the window of Gamestation, Queens Road

A SHOP in the town centre has been saved from immediate closure while another store has shut.

Game, which has a store in Priory Meadow, went into administration this week with the closure of 277 of its 600 stores across the UK.

The Hastings branch of the video games retailer remains open for the ‘foreseeable future’. It employs seven staff.

But Gamestation, Queens Road, which was also owned by the Game Group, closed this week with the loss of seven jobs.

Across the UK, almost 2,100 store employees were made redundant this week, adminis-trators from Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) said.

John Hough, manager of Priory Meadow Shopping Centre, said: “Game as a national multiple has been hit by both supermarket competition and online sales over the last few years.

“It’s good news that the Hastings store is remaining with us for the foreseeable future.”

He said there had been ‘numerous’ cases where retailers had gone into administration in the last two years but the company has been bought out and the local branch has carried on trading.

Mr Hough said: “In general the shops here have been profitable enough to avoid being part of the inevitable closure plan.”

Two years ago, the Game Group, which had more than 600 overseas stores, made a profit of £90 million. In 2007 it bought Gamestation.

Mike Jervis, joint administrator and partner at PwC, said: “Our priority is to continue trading the business as normal while we continue to pursue a sale.

The recent job losses are regrettable but will place the company in a stronger position while we explore opportunities to conclude a sale.

“My team and I will be doing all we can to help the affected employees at this difficult time.”

In recent months, the town centre has seen other store closures.

Clothing chain Next shut its Priory Meadow shop at the end of last year, and nearby Past Times folded in January. The Early Learning Centre’s Priory Meadow store also closed last month.

However, it hasn’t all been bad news. It was feared clothing store Peacocks, Queens Road, and Bonmarché in Priory Meadow, would close after they went into administration in January.

But both stores were bought by new firms.