GameStop is reportedly shutting down all of its stores in California. The news comes on the back of reports of GameStop deeming itself as "essential retail," and thus except to forced closures, and that it's been making its employees buy their own cleaning supplies for their stores. This latest report comes way of Kotaku, who obtained a company note sent to all stores in the state. According to the outlet, GameStop has shut down every store in the massive west coast state in response to a government lockdown order designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The closure will be in effect until further notice. In other words, until California says it can open back up the stores.
As mentioned, this comes literally a day after GameStop classified itself as "essential retail" akin to grocery stores and pharmacies. At the time, it told stores to stay open even if the city or state issue a lockdown. Meanwhile, if authorities come by and try and force a closure, GameStop employees were told to hand them a document noting that if there was a problem to contact GameStop's corporate headquarters.
“Due to the products we carry that enable and enhance our customers’ experience in working from home, we believe GameStop is classified as essential retail and therefore is able to remain open during this time,” said yesterday's alleged memo sent out to all employees of the company.
The memo continued:
“We have received reports of local authorities visiting stores in an attempt to enforce closure despite our classification. Store Managers are approved to provide the document linked below to law enforcement as needed.”
As you would expect, this stance earned GameStop the Internet's wrath, which perhaps explains why it may be walking the position back.
The state of California has been under a shelter-in-place order since yesterday. Previously, this order was only in place in San Mateo county. At the time, GameStop kept stores open in the county, but now that the order has moved state wide, the retailer is seemingly adhering to the government's wishes of non-essential businesses ceasing operations.
At the moment of publishing, GameStop has not issued an official statement on the report. However, Kotaku has relayed word that it's been told that employees are being made to use personal time off or file for unemployment. In other words, they will not be getting paid while the stores are shut down.
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