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UK Retailer Game Group Cuts 247 Jobs

Following a company-wide operations review, UK-based specialty retailer Game is closing a number of its UK stores, a decision that will result in the loss of 247 jobs across 43 locations.
Following a company-wide operations review, UK-based specialty retailer Game is closing a number of its UK stores, a decision that will result in the loss of 247 jobs across 43 locations. "As a result of this review process, and the tougher market conditions that we face in 2010, we have announced our intention to close 12 Game stores, six Gamestation stores, and all 25 of our concessions in Debenhams stores," read a statement from Game on website Edge-Online. "In each location, we have detailed plans to support the customers and employees." Game said that the closing affected just a "small percentage" -- or 6.3 percent -- of the group's 682 stores. The company said that most of the sites that are to close are located nearby other locations, so Game hopes to affect customers' shopping habits as little as possible. In January, Game Group reported holiday sales that slumped 13.8 percent year-on-year, and fiscal year sales that fell 14.8 percent. The company blamed the revenue slide on lower performance of Nintendo platforms during 2009. Game said that it will be providing support to laid off employees. "We will do our utmost to redeploy roles if possible, and have started consulting with all affected employees," the company's statement read. MarketWatch also reported Thursday that investment firm UBS raised Game's stock rating to "buy" from "neutral." UBS said, "Excitement over Project Natal and Sony Arc/Wand is likely to grow following a demonstration at the Games Developers Conference in March. Although unlikely to be released until November the motion sensitive accessories could sell a combined 1.5 million units in the U.K. given an installed base of 8 million units and attachment rate of a conservative 20%."

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