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Ex-employee tracks GAME Australia fall

By Rachel Weber

Tue 26 Jun 2012 8:08am GMT / 4:08am EDT / 1:08am PDT

Regional manager says "they tried too hard and spent absurd amounts of money doing so"

A former GAME Australia ACT regional manager has spoken out about the demise of the retail chain, arguing that the cracks started to show three or four years ago.

In a post on Kotaku, Scott Parberry, who worked for the company between 2005 and 2010, said problems began with the influx of money that came with being acquired by The GAME Group UK.

"They opened an absurd amount of stores, barely spending time developing locations before moving onto the next; making poor location decisions, getting screwed on rent and associated conditions in the mad dash to open more and more stores," he said.

"Whether this was a directive from high up, or just the Executives riding the high of a massive influx of money from their UK benefactors, was never made clear to us employees."

He also poured scorn on the company's marketing efforts, which kicked in after he had been made redundant after a series of cost cutting measures from the UK.

"They hired two comedians to act like tools on promotional material online and in-store. They adjusted the company's image weekly, it seemed: one minute edgy and borderline offensive, to bargain-bin retailer; to 'HARDCORE GAMERZ'; to satirical; to 'the place for mums'."

"They tried too hard and spent absurd amounts of money doing so."

After a period of administration GAME Australia went into liquidation last week. Parberry appeared sceptical about the contents of the report.

"There's lots of blame attributed to the economy, competition, pricing in the Australian market, et cetera," he said.

"However, it's hard to ignore the short-sightedness of the decision-makers in almost all respects: the misguided attempts at rapid expansion at the cost of focusing on the core attributes and tenets of the company; incredibly poor purchasing and stocking decisions; failure to develop an identity within the Australian market; the lack of respect and time devoted to developing and assisting the guys in the trenches, the frontline staff who are your face to the public; and spending large sums of money on desperate, grasping marketing campaigns."

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