Grainger Games

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Grainger Games Limited
Founded1996; 24 years ago (1996)
FounderStephen Bowyer
Defunct28 March 2018 (2018-03-28)
Number of locations
67 stores (2018)
Areas served
Key people
Number of employees
400 (2018)

Grainger Games Limited was a British video game retail chain based in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. Founded by Stephen Bowyer in 1996, it operated shops across Northern England and Scotland. In March 2018, due to financial issues, the company ceased trading and closed all of its 67 shops, leading to the redundancy of 400 employees.


Grainger Games began as a market stall run by Stephen Bowyer in 1996, located in the Grainger Market, Newcastle upon Tyne.[1][2] The company planned to have a chain of between 75 and 100 shops by 2013, of which about 40 were expected to be in Yorkshire. Stores were opened in Grimsby, Hull, Chesterfield, Doncaster, Leeds, Derby, York and Sheffield, with the most recent being a concession in Fenwick, Newcastle.[3][1][4]

By June 2014, the company had 419 employees.[5] Grainger Games was named Independent Retailer of the Year by MCV in 2008 and 2010, respectively.[2]

Grainger Games were the main sponsor for the Games Media Awards in 2011, however, its attendees were criticised for their behaviour during the event, which included heckling the compere and award winners' acceptance speeches. The company hired dwarves and booth models to present the awards, as well as littering the dinner tables with orange condoms.[6][7]

On 21 March 2018, amid the closures of other retail chains, such as Toys "R" Us and Maplin, multiple investors pulled their credit offerings for Grainger Games, leaving the company in a financially critical situation.[8] As a result of this, on 28 March, 21 of Grainger Games' 67 stores were told not to open as their store would not be included in any future bid for the company.[9] The same message was delivered to the remaining 46 stores the following day.[9] Additionally, the corporate website was taken down, displaying an HTTP 404 error page instead.[9] All of Grainger Games' roughly 400 employees were made redundant, receiving payments for all working hours through 31 March.[9] The company ceased trading effective on 28 March 2018.[9]


  1. ^ a b Parfitt, Ben (25 March 2008). "Indies arent dead yet, says Grainger Games". MCV. Retrieved 29 October 2009.
  2. ^ a b McCusker, Peter (10 September 2008). "Games firm going for growth". The Journal. Retrieved 29 October 2009.
  3. ^ Ginns, Bernard (28 March 2010). "Retail veteran aiming for high score with new gaming venture". Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 19 April 2010.
  4. ^ Parfitt, Ben (9 July 2009). "Grainger Games goes nationwide". MCV. Retrieved 29 October 2009.
  5. ^ Ford, Coreena (19 June 2014). "Newcastle-based Grainger Games boosted by Grand Theft Auto sales". The Journal. Retrieved 28 March 2018.
  6. ^ MCV Editors (27 October 2011). "GMAs & Grainger Games: A statement, by Stuart Dinsey, MD, Intent Media". MCV. Retrieved 27 October 2011.
  7. ^ Weber, Rachel (27 October 2011). "Games Media Awards soured by sponsors Grainger Games". Retrieved 28 March 2018.
  8. ^ Purchese, Robert (21 March 2018). "Trouble brewing for independent UK shop chain Grainger Games". Eurogamer. Retrieved 29 March 2018.
  9. ^ a b c d e Purchese, Robert (28 March 2018). "Grainger Games tells shops not to open, they are being closed". Eurogamer. Retrieved 29 March 2018.