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GAME killed my independent shop... now we've come full circle

Opinion: Ex-indie manager Chandra Nair empathises with retailer's pain

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We've Been Here Before

I'm not bitter though. GAME was a thriving business and it did everything it should have at key moments in order to take advantage of an industry on the edge of mainstream glory. When the boom occurred GAME was in a prime position to take full advantage and expand.

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The reason for this article though, is that I see recent events as nothing more than a cycle repeating itself. It was inevitable that an industry, which has repeatedly grossed more than the film industry and is appealing to a wider demographic with every passing day, would attract the attention of the grocers. It was inevitable that online purchases would go through the roof year-on-year. Change... was inevitable.

There always have been retailers who are vastly more powerful in both their influence and command of the market than GAME. Just as GAME first saw an opportunity and wiped out a whole generation of independent stores, so the monsters of our day are slowly euthanizing their less fortunate rival.

I empathise, I really do. I feel nothing but sympathy and sadness for all the employees of GAME. It's an awful thing to lose your job, especially when you have a family who depend on you but what makes it worse is the months of uncertainty that have led up to whatever outcome ensues.

I've been in that situation where you work somewhere that feels like your home yet you find yourself in fear of your job through no fault of your own, merely through the heartless inevitability of advancing business.

Just as the independent stores once did, GAME does have something to offer us and it does have its own unique characteristics over and above its gigantic competitors. This time though, convenience is the enemy, and you have to wonder whether any deal that can save all or part of the company is merely extending a slow, painful, inevitable death.

Image credit: Closed Sign on Shutterstock

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