1. ITV Report

Half of GAME's shops to shut

Almost 50% of all Game Group stores to close Photo:

Almost fifty percent of the shops run by the Hampshire-based video games retailer 'GAME' will be closed this week. The Game Group which operates Game and Gamestation stores across the world went into administration on Monday.

The administrators PwC have said that 277 stores in the UK and Ireland will close, but the remaining 333 stores - which have a total of 2,814 employees will continue to be open for business while efforts to find a buyer continue.

The firm has suffered from bad trading results in recent months with some suppliers - including Electronic Arts and Nintendo - refusing to stock the business with products and games.

Mike Jervis, joint administrator and partner at PwC, 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."

It has been reported that the Game 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 bought Comet.

Mr Jervis said he believes that there is still room for a specialist video games retailer in the UK, even though the business has experienced harsh trading conditions.

The Game Group had a £21 million rent bill due on Monday and is facing a £12 million salary bill this weekend, although PwC is expected to honour any wages owed. It also owes £10 million in VAT and £40 million to suppliers.