Game shuts its doors at Cascades

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THE branch of Game in Cascades Shopping Centre closed yesterday as the firm went into administration.

At 12.30pm the doors were locked at the store, which is one of two in Portsmouth.

The second branch, just a stone’s throw away in Commercial Road, remains open for trading, as does the Game store in Fareham Shopping Centre.

Last year the Basingstoke-based company refinanced with its banks to ensure its success until May 2014.

But poor trading and a refusal from its suppliers to do business forced Game to look for new owners or financiers.

Last week the chain had to admit defeat and call in administrators PricewaterhouseCoopers, who were appointed yesterday.

In a statement the firm said: ‘The board of Game has completed its discussions with lenders and third parties without resolution, and has therefore today appointed PwC LLP to act as administrators for the group.

‘This decision is taken after careful consideration and ceaseless interrogation of every possible alternative.

‘The board would like to thank the teams of Game and Gamestation colleagues around the world for their exemplary dedication, passion and professionalism.’

PwC said 277 stores in the UK and Ireland were closed yesterday, meaning the redundancies of 2,104 staff.

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.’

The remaining 333 stores, employing 2,814 people, will stay open as normal while the administrators continue their efforts to find a buyer.

One employee, who didn’t want to be named, said: ‘It’s no surprise that one of the Portsmouth stores has shut though, because there are two really close together.’

Despite the setback, Cascades Shopping Centre said it is performing well.

Its manager, Rhoda Joseph, said: ‘These are difficult times that we’re in, but we’re level with last year in terms of sales.’