Arcade Club sets course to make UK “the arcade capital of the world”

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What turned a computer repair shop into an ambitious retro arcade experience. Andy Palmer talks about the journey from Rossendale to Bury, Leeds and soon to come Blackpool.

 

Since opening the first Arcade Club in 2013 from the back of his computer repair shop in Rossendale Valley, Andy Palmer’s vision has gone from strength to strength.

With two multi-storey venues filled to capacity, and plans afoot for nationwide expansion, the business is testament to the enduring appeal of the arcade.

“When Arcade Club first started, I honestly thought it would be pretty much only 30, 40, 50-somethings,” Palmer told Eurogamer. “We found out that families love the place.”

Though promising business saw the club relocate to a large warehouse in Haslingden in 2015, it was the BBC programme Collectaholics that put Arcade Club on the map, with demand increasing so significantly that Palmer sold an Out Run Deluxe, and placed a deposit on the top floor of a disused mill in Bury.

“I thought the worst that could happen if it fails was that I’d have to sell some machines to repay any loans.”

“Luckily it did work, in a very, very big way.”

The Bury site now covers three floors, offering classic cabinets, modern arcade titles, and consoles, with a second three-storey site in Leeds opening in 2019.

Though plans for a Blackpool site were put on hold due to Coronavirus, Palmer still maintains Arcade Club is still set to make Britain “the arcade capital of the world.”


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