Rachel Town, senior trading manager, and Philip Parker, head of Buying, spoke to Toy World about how Game is set to become a major player in the marketplace.
Game, owned by Frasers Group, has been a mainstay of the British retail scene for more than three decades. Known for its specialism in consoles, computer games, gaming accessories and licensed merchandise, the retailer is now laser focused on increasing its toy business.
Christmas 2022 saw Game tangibly put its stamp on the toy category for the first time in its history. The retailer has been undergoing something of an overhaul for the past couple of years, moving away from a predominantly games business to one that is far more focused on the Toy & Game industry. This has led to big changes in terms of the space the category is afforded, both in-store and in its 140+ House of Fraser and Sports Direct concessions.
Game is currently working with a raft of big-name toy suppliers including Lego, Hasbro, Mattel, Jazwares, Character Options, Asmodee and The Pokémon Company – and the list is growing all the time.
During a strong Christmas period, Pokémon toys and trading cards stood out. Plush is a major growth category for Game, driven largely by Squishmallows and Ty, as well as licensed plush based on top gaming franchises such as Pokémon, Super Mario and Animal Crossing. But as Phil explains, the retailer is now skewing its toy offering towards a younger audience.
“We’re now working our way down the age groups and improving the diversity of our product offering, testing what customers are after. We’ve been pleasantly surprised by how widespread our customers’ tastes are, as well as the age ranges and play patterns they shop for,” he explains.
Phil and Rachel are confident that the time is right to push forward and increase Game’s standing as a toy destination among shoppers. The pair are testing new ranges all the time as they continue to sound out what works.
Innovation within stores is playing a big part in drawing shoppers in and showcasing the greatly expanded toy range Game now offers. Phil and Rachel are keen for investment in the store estate, to elevate locations with better displays, fixtures and lighting that provide an immersive and memorable shopping experience.
To find out more about the ongoing developments in Game outlets, which, as well as extended ranges, include strong in-store branding from some pretty major names, theatrical installations, bespoke fitouts, dedicated brand zones and annual conferences to get staff hands on with product, read the full article, from the April edition of Toy World, by clicking here.