Updated: 27/03/12 : 06:39:54
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231 Irish jobs lost at Game

It was announced yesterday that 231 Irish jobs are to be axed at retailer Game.

PriceWaterHouse Coopers says 121 jobs will be lost in the Republic as all 14 stores are to shut, while another 110 positions in the North will be shed as just five of 20 stores remain open there.

Already workers at the video-game retailer have discussed the possibility of staging sit-ins to secure redundancy payments.

The retailer has outlets in Athlone, Galway, Limerick and Monaghan, as well as two stores in Cork and eight in Dublin.

Mike Jervis, joint administrator and partner at PriceWaterHouse Coopers, said: “The recent job losses are regrettable but will place the company in a stronger position while we explore opportunities to conclude a sale.

“My team and I will be doing all we can to help the affected employees at this difficult time.”

The group's lenders were reportedly working on plans to buy a slimmed-down version of the retailer out of administration.

A consortium of existing banks led by state-backed Royal Bank of Scotland is understood to be among three potential bidders, along with American rival Gamestop and OpCapita, which recently acquired consumer electronics business Comet.

Mr Jervis said he believes that there is still room for a specialist video games retailer in the UK despite the difficult conditions it has suffered in recent months and remains hopeful the business can be sold as a going concern.

Game last week said it planned to appoint an administrator, having admitted there was no value left in the company.

The chain’s demise follows a string of profit warnings and the failure of nervous suppliers, including Electronic Arts and Nintendo, to continue providing new games.

Game suffered a dismal Christmas and was later forced to ask suppliers for more generous trading terms.

But many stopped supplying it with popular new releases, such as 'Mass Effect 3' and 'Street Fighter X Tekken', leaving fans to shop elsewhere and adding to the group’s trading woes.

Game agreed fresh lending facilities with banks last month and began seeking access to alternative sources of funding earlier this month.

The group has already signalled that losses for the year to the end of January are likely to be around £18m (€21.5m).