The largest game store chain in Australia, EB Games, is closing a number of stores throughout the country. In a statement to Kotaku Australia, the company explained that they are closing 19 unprofitable stores, but it has been found that 20 are now missing from their online store locator.
The statement describes how EB Games is offering staff the chance to work in nearby stores where possible. It goes on to mention that there will be several larger-scale stores that combine EB Games and Zing, a pop culture outlet, opening around Australia in the near future.
The 19 stores that EB Games is closing are expected to fully shut down by the end of the month, with stock being discounted between 20 and 60 percent in order to help it shift. What hasn’t been clarified at the moment, is whether or not the EB Games stores in New Zealand, of which there are 40, will be affected.
EB Games is the Australian Subsidiary of US retailer GameStop, which has experienced some tough times financially over the last few years. GameStop itself is closing stores around the US, planning to specialize a small number of them into specific niches such as retro gaming, arcades, and even esports centers.
EB Games began in 1997, and has grown to hold 450 stores with over 5000 employees. The company was even responsible for the Australian edition of GameInformer, which was shut down early in 2019.
EB Games is just another physical game store to experience the hardship of a growing trend among consumers, the preference to purchase their games and hardware online. Most of the time online stores are far cheaper than their retail equivalents, and without serious diversification many stores have completely disappeared.
UK retailer GAME diversified with Belong arenas, providing high-end PCs for consumers to use at an hourly rate, and are even moving into esports. GameStop is starting to diversify, but it seems as though that strategy has come too late to save these 19 EB Games stores.
The EB Games stores confirmed as closing are as follows.