GAME wants to ‘accelerate’ the roll-out of more Belong stores

Retailer GAME has been pleased with its first few Belong competitive gaming centres, and wants to speed up the process of opening new ones.

Buried in a trading update published today, GAME said in a statement: "The Board is pleased with the progress achieved on the Group's key growth initiatives. In particular, we continue to be encouraged by the initial performance of our new in-store gaming arenas, now trading out of 12 locations, under the Belong banner.

"As a result, the Group is exploring new funding arrangements to enable an acceleration of the roll-out of this new initiative."

GAME previously said it would open 20 new stores this year following its initial few.

It has just started running qualifiers for its new Belong League of Legends and Overwatch tournaments.

Looking at the rest of today's announcement, it wasn't good news for GAME.

The retailer has issued a profit warning, stating it now expects to earn fewer earnings this year than previously expected.

"Consumer demand for Nintendo Switch has been, and remains, very strong, however the level of supply to the UK market has been lower than expected," GAME said.

"These lower levels, combined with the continued softness in our core Xbox and PlayStation markets, have impacted sales. The Group still expects to deliver positive GTV growth (gross transaction value) in the second half of the year of approximately 5-6%, however this is below our previous expectation.  

"As a result, we now expect adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization for the full year to be substantially below previous expectations."

However, GAME did add that it expects to see growth returning to the UK and Spanish software markets in its next financial year, 'benefiting from a stronger line up of new releases on Xbox, PlayStation and Nintendo'.

GAME added that it is implementing cost-reduction programmes. It said 'significant efforts' are being made on reducing costs across its UK retail footprint.

GAME bought Insomnia LAN event organiser Multiplay for £20m two years ago.

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