Game Deals, Specials & Catalogues

Game is a mass discounter that started out selling big ticket items.

Game is a chain of large format discount stores selling general merchandise and a limited range of food items. The business is active in South Africa as well as in twelve other African countries including Nigeria, Ghana, and Kenya. Game had its beginnings on Smith Street in Durban in 1970. The first store was opened by founders, Alan Hellman and Jack Schaefer, who converted a large cavernous space into a retail space from which appliances were sold to cash-paying customers at a reasonable price. The two entrepreneurs had drawn their inspiration from similar concepts in America and wanted to bring the same shopping experience to the South African market. Hellman and Schaeffer – along with their team of employees – were known for bringing a fun element to retail shopping with their shocking pink uniforms, themed promotions and a party atmosphere in the stores. As sales took off, Game grew from one store to four throughout the 1970s. It would take another 6 stores opening in the KwaZulu-Natal region for Game’s leadership team to decide to expand to other provinces. The first store outside KZN opened in the Western Cape, followed by four others in Johannesburg. In July 1998, Game was acquired by the Massmart Group, which specialised in wholesale and retail formats selling general merchandise, liquor, home improvement supplies and other consumer goods. Game’s retailing model proved to be a massive success for the group, and by the early-2000s, there were 52 stores operating throughout the country.

Game’s focus is on guaranteeing peace of mind to customers. They do this by offering to beat any retailer’s price and offering to refund the difference if a customer finds the same item elsewhere for a cheaper price. When Walmart purchased a stake in Massmart in 2011, their strategy included expanding Game’s offering to incorporate dry food goods and perishable groceries. A department – Game Foodco – was built into a number of Game stores, taking up 20% of the existing retail space and establishing the retailer as a new competitor in the grocery store landscape. Currently, approximately 70 Game stores have been converted to include food retailing. Game’s plans for the future include opening stores in smaller towns and continued expansion into Africa. Today, there are 108 Game stores operating in South Africa.

Game’s founders gave the store a fun image because they believed that retail shopping had become too boring.