Game store chain Game Mania (which has 75 stores in Belgium and the Netherlands) wants to increase the speed with which it is closing its stores, as the fast-growing web shop makes regular stores obsolete. Speciality stores do still have a future, others will have to close.
"Rather close a store too soon than too late"
The 75 stores already mean a 10 % decrease compared to four years ago, but Belgian CEO Kris Lenaerts want to speed up the store closings. The web shop already equals nine stores in turnover, meaning that "the whole existing business model gets turned upside down", Lenaerts told RetailTrends. "And then you have to act accordingly: I would rather close a store too soon than too late", the CEO continues.
This does not mean that Game Mania will completely turn its back to physical stores, but the remaining stores will have to add something extra: either experience, or further specialisation. The store concept test that was launched in 2017 is a success and the number of experience stores should double to eight by 2020. Another possible solution is to open a Game Mania corner in other retailers' stores.
Specialised stores, like those selling hardware for gaming computers and merchandising, are also on the cards. "These things allow you to be more flexible and respond to customers' demands faster, because you are not tied down to an existing organisation. I believe very strongly in this kind of specialisation", Lenaerts concluded.