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IRUK Top500 Strategy and Innovation Report: 2018

IRUK Top500 Strategy and Innovation Report: 2018

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Game Digital invests in the customer and omnichannel to build for the future

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Game Digital invests in the customer and omnichannel to build for the future
Game Digital invests in the customer and omnichannel to build for the future
Game Digital today said it would put customer engagement and insight at the heart of its business, while also investing in omnichannel retailing to build on a leadership position in the UK and Spanish video games markets.

The update came as Game published its first full-year results after rejoining the London stockmarket in June in the wake of its turnaround from administration. The company reported revenue of £861.8m in the year to July 26, 31% up on the same time last year and pre-tax profits of £7.3m, from a loss of £15.4m last year.

During the year it had more than 50m unique visits to its UK and Spanish websites, while 45% of UK website sessions were via mobile phones. Its mobile app has also been downloaded more than a million times, and has more than 800,000 registered users. It launched in Spain in 2014.

The company said it had won market share both in the UK and Spanish markets. More than a million new members have signed up to its reward card programme, taking total membership to more than 16m.

During the year it launched its Game Wallet for payments, and refitted all of its UK stores as part of investment to support its omnichannel model. Every store now has an area for customer to play games and try new products before buying, as well as space dedicated to digital content.

“Game has delivered a strong performance in what has been a transformational year for the company, which included our successful IPO in June” said chairman David Hamid.

Chief executive Martyn Gibbs said Game’s teams had put it on a “sound footing” for future success. “Our gaming communities lie at the heart of our business,” he said, “and we remain focused on working closely with our supplier partners, innovating and investing in our offer, to ensure we consistently deliver the best interactive gaming experiences possible.”

The strategy now, he said, was to drive profitable growth by building on its position as “the leading specialist retailer of video games in the UK and Spain.

“We are focused,” he said, “on building our world-class insight capabilities to improve and increase customer engagement with the aim of positioning the group at the centre of the supplier-customer relationship.”

The company would also continue to invest in its stores, ecommerce and m-commerce platforms to make the customer journey seamless, convenient and rich. That would include bringing a “more interactive digital infrastructure” to stores, making it easier for customers to discover and buy digital content. Currently, stores are the largest channel for digital content sales, with 75% of in-store digital content purchases paid for through cash, trade-in credit or gift cards.

"Customers increasingly want to shop across a range of channels - in store and online, at home and on the go - and so helping our customers to discover gaming content and shop with us wherever and whenever they want, is a key driver of loyalty," said Gibbs, in his review of the business. "Indeed, customers who shop with us across more than one channel spend 2.5 times more on average than single channel customers."

Game Digital was, to quote its chairman, “born out of the ashes” of Game Group in April 2012, soon after its predecessor went into administration. The new business, said Hamid, is a new company that “puts right the problems of the past and is dedicated to building a business that addresses head-on the issues of the industry in a way that will ensure our long-term future prosperity.” He said the business had maintained its UK market share from half its previous number of stores.

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