Following today’s news (Friday 21 June) that the board of GAME Digital has recommended that shareholders accept Sports Direct’s takeover bid, Zoe Mills, Retail Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers her view:
“While GAME Digital has accepted Mike Ashley’s offer to buy GAME outright, it has done so begrudgingly, saddened by its inability to execute its transformation strategy and the rollout of its BELONG arenas. GAME launched the first arenas back in 2017, but it has only grown to just over 20, despite the planned tie up with Sports Direct that was set to open its BELONG arenas in up to 100 new locations.
“Furthermore, with its retail arm suffering from the move away from traditional gaming towards a more freemium model that sees consumers upgrading within games and bypassing retailers entirely, the greater financial and operating resources that Sports Direct has at its disposal will ease the strain of its adaption plans and put the retailer in a more stable position.
“Now that Sports Direct controls House of Fraser, there is a clear option to utilise some of the increasingly redundant space in some of those stores, helping to generate higher footfall and increase its investment in experiential retail.”