EB Games Are Shutting Stores Across Australia [Update]

The days of the YOLO SWAG sale, for some stores, are coming to an end. EB Games customers have received notices overnight that stores in the ACT, New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia, will be shutting down before the end of the month.

A Kotaku Australia reader got in touch earlier this week letting letting us know that staff had been told at four Adelaide stores would be closing down by the end of the month. The layoffs are much further, however, with OzBargain posters receiving emails from EB stores across Australia, letting them know their local joint was affected. Local sites Vooks and Press Start have gotten tip offs as well.

Some of the stores are fairly large, including Blacktown in NSW and Docklands in Victoria. Kotaku Australia has reached out to EB Games for comment and clarification, and will update this story if they reply.

Update 10:27am: EB Games has provided the following comment to Kotaku Australia:

Like all businesses, we are constantly evaluating our property portfolio to ensure that our stores mix is in-line with the ever changing retail landscape. After careful consideration we will be closing 19 unprofitable stores at the end of January. Where possible, staff were offered the opportunity to work in surrounding stores.

In exciting news, 2020 will see EB Games continue to open more large format stores that combine the power of both the EB Games and Zing Pop Culture. These hybrid stores, combined with our strong omni-channel offering, 6 million loyalty members and 300+ locations across Australia, will see EB Games continue to be one of Australia’s largest specialty retailers.

The full list of affected stores can be found by searching for your local store through the EB Games Store locator. At the time of writing, these stores have been removed:

Birkenhead Point EB Games NSW 2047

Blacktown EB Games NSW 2148

Bribie Island EB Games QLD 4507

Brickworks Marketplace EB Games SA 5031

City Cross EB Games SA 5000

Cleveland EB Games QLD 4163

Dandenong EB Games VIC 3175

Dianella EB Games WA 6059

Hallet Cove EB Games SA 5158

Hamilton EB Games VIC 3300

Harbourtown Adelaide EB Games SA 5950

Inala EB Games QLD 4077

Inverell EB Games NSW 236

Kalamunda EB Games WA 6076

Lutwyche EB Games QLD 4030

Majura Park EB Games ACT 2609

Rockdale EB Games NSW 2216

Underwood EB Games QLD 4119

Winston Hills EB Games NSW 2153

All stores affected will be having a stocktake sale before closing, with products discounted from 20 percent to 60 percent.

Update #2: The Tamworth store listed has already been closed and converted into a EB/Zing Hybrid store, EB has advised.


Comments

    Max RRP, often refusal to price match. I couldn't possibly fathom why they're closing stores.

      Never had an issue price matching but go to Big W for that sweet 10% staff discount thanks to the wife working at woolies.

      Yep. I use the same EBs for all gaming purchases. Always price match, but always am made to feel like a criminal for doing so. Black card member....makes no difference.

        the eb store i go to usually just asks me if i want to price match...

          Same for my local one, I have my phone out and ready too go for the price match and they just go "price matching JB".

          One time the guy actually said it was cheaper at Harvey Norman by like $2 than at JB.

            I've been to a lot of EB's over the last 15-20 or so years, and I've only ever had 1 employee suggest a discounted price, and that's because we were mates. Which is fine, they're not a charity. But their business model does operate under the assumption that the average consumer won't do their research.

              Probably because I price match all the time and have spent a lot of money over the years.

        If they treat you like shit why keep giving them your business?

      They've never refused to price match for me, as long as it's a major store like JB HiFi (especially since there's usually a JB in the same shopping complex). A lot of chains won't price match against online-only stores.

    I'm surprised that City Cross one in Adelaide didn't close years ago, considering there is a much larger EB store about 1 minute walk away on the other side of Rundle Mall.

      Similar situation with the Melbourne Central here in, well, Melbourne. There's a much bigger one on Swanston, and it's really not hard to go to that one instead. But I guess being in literally the same building as a train station does help.

      As soon as I saw the title of this article, I thought of the city cross store. It's never really made sense to me why they'd have two stores so close, but regardless, I'll miss that shop. I always went there over the one in the mall, partly because I figured they could use the business, and partly because I just prefer that store over the much busier atmosphere at the other one. Found many rare gems there in the pre-owned box that wouldn't have lasted more than half an hour in the mall, and the staff were always very polite and helpful. I'm really going to miss that place.

      Last edited 17/01/20 1:22 pm

    Yeah, this sounds like an overdue clear out of, as they state, 'unprofitable stores'. Doesn't sound like a major shake-up at this stage.

    This was bound to happen after GameStop started killing off its US business. Then shutting the Australian Game Informer office was the canary in the Aussie Coal Mine.

    I also suspect there’ll be more closures to come. GameStop is in much more dire financial position than what they’ve let on in Australia. EB didn’t do a ‘bad’ job sustaining its business with the Zing merch, but it was never going to be the commercial silver bullet.

      I was under the impression that EB Games was now mostly separate to the US stores. Is that not the case?

        Parent company is still U.S. owned, which I've been told is why they don't have Afterpay in store - the in-store POS system doesn't allow for the Australian exclusive payment method.

          That makes no sense. Why would you use the American POS system down here? There'd be heaps of companies that could supply a local one as opposed to shipping rubbish in from the states. Strange decisions.

            Couldn't tell you, but let's be honest - it's probably cash related. :)

              Apparently, somehow, Afterpay as service charge a higher percentage to the merchant if they want to process in-store transactions (scanning an Afterpay barcode) compared to the standard online service. There are a number of other retailers that only offer Afterpay as a click and collect as well.

      True. It was only a matter of time before the Australian sites got hit. The North American ones are in free fall and I think (correct me if I'm wrong here) they closed all sites throughout the Scandinavian regions.
      More than enough vids on YouTube of former Gamestop staff talking about what's been happening, often dropping what's about to happen before Gamestop themselves have even told staff.

    Unfortunately, it looks like the days of having a profitable brick and mortar games store are on the way out. Without having big ticket items to boost the bottom line, it isn't financially feasible to compete with Big W or JB HiFi. Plus, with services like game pass, the potential to only buy a console and no games for the entire next generation is becoming more and more possible.

    Once the bottom falls out of Funko Pop Vinyl Dolls, EB are going to run out of things to sell.

      Garbage, it is about the store experience, JB Hifi does well because its stores are exciting, EB Games could learn from them, also just because they opened some stores in some bad areas doesn't mean the whole company is in trouble.

        Pricing is a major issue. I often come out of JB feeling like I just got a good deal. Don't often feel like that after walking out of EB. Not unless I got them to price match JB, anyway :P

          It's amazing how well JB does in making you feel like you're getting a bargain, even though JB is now amongst the most expensive retailers in the market. I suspect it has something to do with the cluttered bargain warehouse look and hand drawn price tags that scream 'cheap'.

      Most of that stuff has been moved to the Zing stores by now.... i get the feeling they are cutting some of those stores (blacktown comes to mind here) so they can transition to merging it with Zing since most malls have both

    I usually don't care much for EB Games, but went there on the weekend to grab a preowned 3DS game for my youngen. Website said they had stock on hand, got to store and they only had a new copy with no cover. They then proceeded to want to charge me normal price for a product with no cover at all.

    I had to argue with the store clerk (who said it was the new game not a preowned, so I have to pay the normal price) to say, hang on, you want to charge me normal price for the product when you're not giving me everything my money says I should receive. At least a small discount would be logical, even if I am paying more than the preowned copy in the end.

    I don't think it's the clerk's fault at all, they were only following company policy but EB Games just has the worst mantra of 'charge full price unless challenged'. That might have worked when there weren't so many alternatives, but in this day and age with not only other brick n mortar stores slashing their prices but online being a viable alternative, it's no wonder they are dying out.

      EB have a ton of terrible practices that I won't defend, but this I can understand. If they had a policy of selling uncased games at a discount, there would be a rise in people taking empty covers and then returning to buy a discounted game. When I worked at a Sanity, our policy was we couldn't sell an unboxed product at all, so we would have a lot of unhappy customers come in, be told we had stock, then told we couldn't sell it (I'd usually just say the stock level was off, not tell them we had the disc).

      In thus case, unboxed stock would probably be isolated during stock take and returned to the warehouse.

        The common sense thing would be for EB games to give less money if a customer tries to sell their second hand game without a cover.

          I'm sure they do. But it still would stop someone coming in, stealing the cover of a brand new game, then coming back 10 minutes later requesting a discount because the store had the disc but no cover.

            I can see your point, and it makes perfect sense. The thing is however, it's not like the cases on display are the only ones there, they'll often have cases in the back, so unless you systematically go into a store to steal the cases as they're replaced, you could get caught out. Also, if anyone does this, they're a bigger tool than EB Games.

            In this case I went in for product A (i.e. preowned @ <$15 which they supposedly had in stock) and was told that yes I could get it.. but that they couldn't find the case. I said, no problem, willing to pay the normal fee for preowned game cause it was preowned. Then was told, after waiting 10 mins for the manager to return, that oh wait, it's actually the normal game, not preowned. I said, fine, I'll take the game but I'm not paying $25 for it cause I came in here thinking I was going to spend <$15 and now you want to charge me $25 for something without a case. In the end I paid $21 for it when I went in there expecting to pay under $15. It's not the money that annoyed me, it was the blatant 'this is a new game' spiel I got from the clerk. It might be a new game, but you're not selling it to me in new condition..

      I've had similar situations but they've always knocked a few bucks off for me.

      Yeah, generally I think they knock off a percentage or a few dollars if the cover is missing - regardless of whether it's a preowned or new game. Have had this for even when the case is damaged. It must boil down to the different practices between stores, like most retail or chain stores, they can run very differently from each other depending on who is running the show.

    Simply by reading the header of this article, I knew Dianella would be in the list. The store is located in what is essentially a shopping plaza for old retired people, plus there's another EB Games 2 minutes down the road in Galleria, which is much bigger and fancier.

      Thought the same thing as well. The demographic of the area it was in compounded by the presence of a bigger store nearby in a more suitable location always made me wonder.

    Retail is tough these days. Gaming retail must be super tough. It’s a shame but I guess it’s sign of the changing times.

      Well they sell only kidsole now days.. Tho to be fair most pc have always bought online only.. Why pay double the price just to be forced to interact with some pimple faced teen virgin in a store? That being said i did find some nice scams over the years to get a heap of free games ????????

    I've put a decent amount of coin over the counter at EB over the years, but their pricing is usually not exactly competitive lately.

    You'd think the new Playstation and XBox consoles launching this year (plus the rumoured Switch Pro or whatever they call it) will give them a bit of a boost, although console launches don't happen often enough for it to be a sustainable business model to depend on them.

      Gamestop (EB's US-based parent) are banking on new consoles reviving their fortunes, but it's looking more and more likely that they won't even exist by the time those systems come out.

      My local one was crazy busy on boxing day with a line going out the door. I reckon they did real good over the holiday break.

        Or people were lining up on boxing day to return Xmas purchases! :D

    I wouldn't be surprised if more stores are shut down over the year. The knock-on effect of Gamestop seems to have finally affected us.

    The Cleveland store closing is understandable given the demographic there is retired people, and given there is a Victoria Point store 10min away and two at Capalaba also 10min away.

    I am suprised Capalaba still has two stores one is a big Zing combo store while the other is just an EB within around 500m of each other, it would be like putting one at either end of a large Westfield's.

      You mean like Carindale has two Telstra stores and two Optus stores, just for those people that don't understand how escalators, lifts or stairs work and can only manage to shop on the floor they came in on?

      Even then there’s a JB HiFi at Capalaba that isn’t hard to get to and is cheaper. I haven’t stopped at EB for ages just because of their stupid pricing.

        My closest store is Victoria Point but either way they will match JB anyway.

        The bonus for trade and if your lucky to have people who work at your local that actually like and have the time to talk about gaming is one thing I will say keeps my going to EB.

      I dont know there is two EB Games there. The EB/Zing combo seems to be run pretty well by the chicks there. They dont ask those questions like do you want to pre order anything? Do you want an EB warranty? but then some times there are like 6 staff members in there just standing around.

      I was hoping the Capalaba Central one was on the list, that one is a dumpster fire. the worst service. I was there buying an Xbox one for my nephew and got asked why I didnt want a PS4? When I told them why they proceeded to tell me the PS4 was far more superior.

      No one cares bro, I just want to buy something.

      We've got an EB and Zing within less than 30m of each other. They are almost opposite each other in a shopping place in Tassie.

        I would expect that too change going forward, the Capalaba store I mentioned earlier was originally two separate EB/Zing around the corner from each other.

        Might be lack of a suitably sized retail space, I don't know but I have seen quite a few stores that were already large enough add the Zing.

        My main store I go too in Victoria Point (according too the manager) has no intention of adding Zing as they are too small, they might however move too a larger space as just two spaces down from them has seen several failed businesses over the years, mainly fashion retailers.

    I tried to support the bricks and mortar model, but gave up when they started selling me crystal cases with digital download codes in them. Picking up a special edition on launch day and then not being able to play it until I'd downloaded it (and I wasn't on the NBN at that stage) was not acceptable. So I stopped.

    Now my PC games are bought from the various online portals - Steam, UPlay, GOG, Rockstar - pre-loaded, and are ready to go when I sit down to play on launch day. Time zones are still an issue, but they were with physical media too. Haven't been into an EB since.

    Sad to see the stores closing, but they're no longer a viable alternative.

      On that topic - digital distribution is getting expensive in Australia these days, especially for AAA games. It can cost me less to buy a physical console copy from JB than to get the same game on PC on Steam.

        This is especially true of console games. Physical is often cheaper by a large margin. I only go digital for the slow burn titles like Smash, Mario Kart and the upcoming Animal Crossing.

    Yeah, but doesn't EB Games have something like almost 500 stores nationwide? So this is a drop in the ocean for them store wise.

      Sucks for all the kids out of work, though.

        I get the feeling they will move them to the Zing store... most EBGames have a Zing store in the same mall

        For sure. But as someone pointed out some of these are within minutes of other EB Games stores..

          That means the store's already got existing staff though - they won't necessarily be able to give shifts to everyone affected, and if they did it could mean some people have their hours cut depending on the number of people we're talking.

          The uncertainty makes life pretty shit, either way.

            Oh man I know that all too well. When I worked for EB Games back 2013-2014, we closed one of our stores 5 mins away, I was one of those staff who lost hours to the staff at the other store, because contracted PPT staff won over casual staff.

    I knew the Dandenong store was gonna be on the list, the writing was on the wall the day JB Hifi moved its store in to the same shopping centre.

    I would wager the nearby Keysborough and Fountain Gate stores aren’t long for this world either.

      That doesn't necessarily mean anything. Plenty of shopping centres have a JB Hifi and EB Games. Depends more on the size of the centre and how many people go there.

        Indeed. Retail agglomeration (clustering of similar stores in the same area, think bushwalking shops, or even just having KMart and BigW in the same shopping centre) is well established to increase overall sales in many instances. If customers know that they can visit a single location to take advantage of a much wider range of options than they otherwise would get from a single store more people are likely to visit the area and all stores in the cluster benefit.

        Not sure that computer games would work the same way, however, given that everyone is essentially selling the same day-one product.

    Once I realized there was a store around the corner from my old EB games that sold the game for basically 1/2 the price EB was trying to charge (JB Hifi) I never went back to EB games. Im not surprised stores are closing, and expect to see more in the future.

    Not surprised. Retail in general is facing more and more issues. Stores that specialise in a seperate category (e.g video games, organic foods, kitchenware, bedding) are suffering more and more due to the fact more people are wanting to save money and are generally happy to buy from department stores. I was made redundant as the store I managed was closed, the business went into voluntary administration and other stores closed. Large format stores are much more stable so having fewer small stores and instead having their larger retail space with a bigger range is smart for them. Hopefully it works out well for the sake of their employees.

    I am actually quite amazed the Blacktown one is closing its in a very good spot and gets a fair amount of walkin traffic and then more during the holidays since i see decent lines in there

    Oddly enough the Zing stores arent being affected... maybe the company is trying to pivot to swag now instead of games?

      They are combing the two from what I can tell, or at least might re-brand all the existing EB stores as Zing and still sell all the same stuff as before.

        I figured as much..the Zing store in Blacktown has a much bigger floor space compared to the EB spot.. that being said their giving up a real premium space there if their planning to merge the eb is right next to the front entrance and next to the food court.. its a prime space for activity

      Way more margin in plastic crap than there is in gaming.

    Even though it’s been 10+ years and I should get over it, having been physically and verbally assaulted by my manager back at EB I’m satisfied that their company shrinks further. The policies and engendered behavior there is so f****** toxic. There are some great eggs there but even they are dwindling.

    Inala is a low-income area and a bit of a slummy centre, and it's near 3 bigger shopping centres at Mt Ommaney, Browns Plains and Springfield so can understand why it's struggling.

    Garbage stores with garbage staff and garbage pricing.

    Having watched them destroy my three favourite video game stores over the past fifteen years, I'm going to find it hard to shed a tear when EB are gone.

    As per their comment this is totally standard stuff for retail operations especially.

    I find it more interesting the deluge of comments above on such a simple, routine assessments results.

    I'm one of the employees working in the stores closing down. There's barely any communication at all. Received the email regarding our sales before I was told by management about it.

    EB is only looking to have 'Vision' stores around and standalone eb games will be closing or converting.

    I still don't know if I am keeping my job, so a lot of people will be forced out. It's all about keeping friends in and not well performing staff. Politics and sucking up to the higher ups reigns supreme, much like other companies.

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