The other week, I wrote an article about why everyone seems to hate GAME, and I mentioned that about the only other remaining high street video game chains in the UK are CEX and Grainger Games. But I’d never actually set foot in a branch of Grainger Games until now.
Grainger Games started in 1996 in Newcastle, and now has around 70 stores across the north-east of England. Having recently relocated to the north-east myself, I was keen to see what their stores are like.
I popped into the Bishop Auckland branch earlier this week, and I have to say I was impressed. They had a great range of new and secondhand games, all at reasonable prices. In fact, I found some veritable bargains – I picked up Metroid: Other M for £3, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow and Overlord II for £2 each, and DOOM on the PS4 for just £8. I was pretty damn pleased with my haul.
The staff were really friendly, and were happy to chat about games. They asked whether I wanted to pre-order anything, but otherwise there was no pushy sales talk. I enjoyed the experience so much, I went back there on Saturday to trade in a few old games for Resident Evil 6 (I thought it’s about time I caught up with the series). My trade-ins didn’t quite cover the cost of the game, but to my delight the sales person just rounded it up and told me not to worry about the difference. Now that’s customer service.
So that leads to a question: if a small independent chain can compete with the internet on prices, doesn’t need to resort to high-pressure selling, and is staffed by friendly, knowledgable staff, why can’t GAME do the same?