GameStop ($GME) is just as tired of being in lockdown as everyone else and now plans to re-open stores as soon as it can. Now that two state governors are scrambling to open up their economies in Georgia and South Carolina, GameStop will have its first testing grounds to turn the lights back on.
In-store purchases are critical for GameStop, which makes a large portion of its revenue off of used game sales, toys, merch, accessories, clothing, and gift cards. A month ago, all GameStop stores closed despite efforts to label itself as 'essential,' and now two-thirds of its locations offer curbside pickup. In a world dominated by Amazon Prime, it'll be tough to convince gamers to run out to a store, especially when PCs and consoles are suited for digital downloads. There are no other video game retail stores around anymore besides GameStop, and there's a good reason for that: they aren't necessary like they used to be.
GameStop CEO George Sherman said in a press release “As we continue to navigate these unprecedented times, our priority has been and continues to be on the well-being of our employees, customers, and business partners...in very short order, we implemented a temporary curbside pick-up process at the majority of our U.S. stores in accordance with state and local ordinances. By using our omnichannel buy online pickup in-store and ship from store capabilities, we are able to operate in a safe and regulatory compliant way while meeting the increased demand for our products as more consumers work, learn, and play from home."
So as places in Georgia and South Carolina open again, here's how things will look for GameStop.
The company "has begun the process of re-opening stores in Italy, Germany, Austria, and the states of South Carolina and Georgia and is preparing for the potential to re-open in other operating countries and states in the coming weeks. All stores in Australia remain open for business."
We mapped out all of the European and Australian locations being prepared to reopen.
We reached out to understand how GameStop will reopen stores given remaining social distancing guidelines but haven’t heard back yet. We'll update the story when we receive an official word.
Meanwhile, George Sherman and other top executives are taking pay cuts of as much as 50%, but "certain other employees" will be getting salary cuts of as much as 30%.
As GameStop tightens its belt, it does not plan on leaving any money on the table when it comes to its in-person, storefront operation that has already struggled in recent years as diigital game buying and e-commerce giants like Amazon have changed the retail landscape.
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