Excellent journal entries, I'd advise anyone with a little time to go read them. On the credit front, my GF was one of the lucky ones. She'd pre-ordered Mass Effect 3 for me and when we received notification that they couldn't meet the order as they'd been refused stock (and gave us a £5 voucher to make up for it) I instantly realised we were talking days or weeks rather than months or years left on the clock for Game and told her to cash the voucher and her ~£25 of loyalty points in.
I can understand how people would be annoyed at having missed out, but on the other hand I'd be extremely wary of sinking more than you're willing to lose into any company in this economy (or in fact, in general - I hate buying big ticket items that have a long time to deliver like sofas, etc, leaving several hundred pounds invested in a company in the hope they'll be able to deliver). I can imagine a lot of those same people still have HMV vouchers/credit, for instance and will learn little from this experience.
The article alluded to the one benefit bricks and mortar games stores can offer, unfortunately it's one thing Game never got right. It specifically says game stores are needed so that customers can try before they buy, yet Game and Gamestation where always awful for this. If you were lucky there'd be one or two consoles switched on, more often than not the controllers wouldn't be hooked up so there was no "trying" component, and god forbid you ask them to reconnect them or, even worse, throw in a different game to the one that's looping through the start screen demo... not gonna happen. The stores themselves are cramped, every available space crammed with junk merchandise, the staff waver between jumping on you if they think you're looking at a big ticket purchase like a sale or ignoring you if you have questions about anything else (right up until it's time to pay where they'll offer you five or six point of sale offers you're clearly not interested in).
I genuinely think they should make the stores more like a hangout, big comfy sofas, a whole bunch of consoles (with some kind of hub system so you can choose which games you want to try). They could easily stop people abusing it by limiting the amount of time you can play games (have you create some kind of account in store and then use a system similar to OnLive, give you 30 minutes per title to try it out). There's not really any need to have every available shelf space crammed with copies of games, either - use that space to make the place a more inviting venue for customers. I avoid Game stores like a plague as you really feel like cattle, churned through the store (it's so crammed you can only move in one direction), channeled through the point of sale then dumped out onto the street. I'd rather wait two or three days and save money than subject myself to that. Create a more relaxed, fun atmosphere and people will be willing to spend time in your store and that in turn will lead to spending.
I judge a religion as being good or bad based on whether its adherents become better people as a result of practicing it. - Joe Mullally, computer salesman