Friday, September 2, 2011

A Bit about Our Past

The first GAME store opened in Durban, South Africa, in 1970. It was born out of the belief by its founders that shopping had become a tedious and boring pastime.

They wanted to create a fun shopping environment and so conceptualised retailing as a game. The signature shocking pink has still prevailed to this day.

 We operate out of 90 stores in 11 African countries. 

The above few lines are copied from the official Game website and it’s the only thing about the origins of Game. 

The idea of doing something like this has been playing in my mind for some time now and after checking the web site and seeing some comments on Facebook recently it got me going. The patronising words about the founders regarding the beginning of Game is one of the main reasons for doing this project. It has been very difficult trying to recall everything from more than 40 years ago and many people have helped jar the memory. Remember, we are talking about the period BC. (Before Computers!)

This tale is really for the benefit of Alan’s and Jack’s families, who were then very young and in the background, and are here in SA and USA. Their children Martine, Leora, Peta and Warren will only have very scant memories of these early days and probably don’t realise how really good their dads were in the retail industry. For their wives, Wendy and Carole, a pleasant reminder as they worked so tirelessly as cashiers and general helpers in the stores in those early days and in fact wherever they were asked to help in less than pleasant conditions. There was no air-conditioning back then in either store.

Many people who were involved in Grants and Game in the early days still have fond memories and you will see, in the pages that follow, the memories of both TEAM MEMBERS and SUPPLIERS who were very much a part of the success of these retail giants. 

These were the days BBPWMW. (Before Beares, Prefcor, Wooltru, Massmart, Walmart) 

Almost 30 people helped compile the story and I hope you’re going to enjoy the trip down memory lane. It’s been an amazing recollection and hope that through this shared space others will share their memories of the time and particularly, the families of those that were involved. We were a close family as you will read in the story that follows.

I'd especially like to thank three people for all their encouragement and valuable assistance with the Blog. I created the Blog which could be best described as an Ugly Duckling. They turned it into this Beautiful, Elegant and attractive Swan.

Martine, Leora and Kerryn who is a Blog MAESTRO. Thank you ladies.
Bernard Shapiro - Creator, collator and author.
Durban originally, now living in Cape Town.


  1. Thanks for all your efforts Bernard. It's great for us to have this legacy documented.

  2. Incredible website!! Well done! What an amazing 'memorabilia' for the families and people involved in the early Game days... great work!

  3. I joined right at the end of the Jack & Alan era but I felt the excitement and it fired me up for many years of struggling at Game with all the crazy decisions that followed!

    Cool blog, Bernard. Well done.

  4. thanks Bernard,I see its been up for some years.I will put some stories /comments up soon.When I look back I realise I was in the cutting edge of retail what a ride