Shock as Blackpool computer games shop shuts doors

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A Blackpool computer games shop shut its doors for good at the weekend after its parent company decided to close all its 67 UK stores with a loss of 390 jobs.

Staff at Grainger Games on Corporation Street were instructed to “not open your store” and ordered to begin packaging up stock.

The message on the door

The message on the door

The business began as a stall in Newcastle’s Grainger Market in 1997, mainly selling second-hand video games.

In the company’s latest financial report in March 2017, it employed 390 people and made an operating loss of £1.3m.

Last week managing director Stephen Bowyer said the company’s credit limits had been cut or removed by some suppliers.

He said: “This has come as shock to us all and presents a significant operating challenge driven by factors outside our control.”

The closed shop on Corporation Street.

The closed shop on Corporation Street.

Industry experts say Grainger Games “had a huge over-reliance” on second-hand games, which became big in the early 2000s.

The advent of digital downloads meant fewer people were buying physical games.

Richard Stanton, editor of video games website Kotaku UK, said: “It’s a little bit sad for me because I think if you’re from a certain generation it meant a lot.

“I would buy second-hand games and the great thing from a consumer point of view is you could trade them in again. The wheeler-dealing they let you do was wonderful.”

It is not known how many full and part-time staff were employed at the Blackpool shop.

Yesterday, a sign in the front window said: “Andy and the staff would like to thank all our loyal customers for the last seven years.”

The Gazette understands that staff will be paid up until March 31.

All the companies’ websites were inoperational, displaying the slogan “Game Over”.