Game Group looks online to stem the tide of falling sales

THE new chief of video games chain Game said yesterday his strategy to cope with the trend away from buying physical games would be to concentrate on online sales.

Ian Shepherd said he plans a “step change in our online revenues”.

However he admitted that a large chunk of the £15m cost savings the group aims to make in the next year would be eaten up by the move, lowering profit margins by around one per cent.

Shepherd added, however, that over the next three years he expects the changes he will introduce will be “profit enhancing”.

Game also said it had agreed a new £160m borrowing facility out to May 2014.

Game Group also signed a partnership with Microsoft earlier in the month to sell a range of downloadable games in UK stores.

At least 30 downloadable games and extras, priced from as little as £2.04, will be sold from units in 40 Game stores as part of a six-month trial.

The release of hit games such as Call of Duty: Black Ops have failed to lift sales at the group which saw a 2.1 per cent slide over Christmas.

That was blamed on the grim weather as shopper numbers dived, while download sales marched on.