GameStop Changes Policy, Will Shut Down All US Stores This Weekend

Today, GameStop updated its policy in relation to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, resulting in some major changes. More specifically, the retailer has announced that it will be closing all customer access to U.S. storefronts and will only process orders on a digital only basis. This means it's moving to curbside pick-up at stores and will offer only eCommerce delivery. According to an official statement, this will allow GameStop to continue to serve customers who have made purchases online.

On top of this, GameStop notes that the company will pay all employees whose hours have been eliminated for an additional two weeks. Meanwhile, it will also reimburse one full month of employee benefit contributions. This new policy will go into effect on March 22, which is tomorrow.

“This is an unprecedented time and each day brings new information about the COVID-19 pandemic," said George Sherman, GameStop’s Chief Executive Officer in an official statement. "Our priority has been and continues to be on the well-being of our employees, customers and business partners. We have been steadfast in our adherence to CDC-guided safety and local government orders for retailers in each of our communities. As millions of Americans look to GameStop to adjust to their new normal of increased time at home, for work, learning and play, we have implemented practices to help ensure the safety and health of our employees, customers and partners. We believe it is prudent to institute further safety protocols while meeting this increased demand through curbside pick-up. As such, stores that remain in operation will provide only pick-up at the door or delivery to home activities to further protect our employees and customers.”

At the moment of publishing, it's unclear how long this policy will be implemented, but presumably it will be place until the coronavirus situation in the United States is brought under control.

Elsewhere in the statement, GameStop notes that it has ensured employees that they do not have to work during this period, especially if they are uncomfortable about the situation or feel sick. As mentioned above, all U.S. employess whose hours have been eliminated will be covered for an additional two weeks at their regular pay rate based on the average hours worked in the last 10 weeks.

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Lastly, GameStop noted that it will provide more detail about its operations when it reports its fourth quarter and fiscal year 2019 results next week on March 26.

This news comes on the back off a rough week for GameStop's public image. At the start of the week, an internal memo leaked, revealing GameStop was going to make stores stay open during the pandemic, even in the event of a state or city lockdown. At the time, the retailer deemed this appropriate because it was "essential retail." Meanwhile, making matters worse was reports that the retailer was forcing its employees to buy their own cleaning supplies for their stores.

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