GameStop chief customer officer and executive vice president Frank Hamlin is stepping away from the company effective on March 31st. The announcement was made in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing from the retailer. Hamlin started with the company nearly two years ago, and no specific reason was given for his departure. However, the report indicates he is resigning "with good reason," which will result in a severance of $2.06 million. Hamlin's departure follows reporting from GamesIndustry.biz that GameStop's overall sales were down 21% in 2020. The company has struggled throughout the coronavirus pandemic, closing more than 400 stores.
While GameStop has clearly had a lot of issues over the last few years, its numbers from 2020 were not all bad. The company's net loss for 2020 was $215.3 million, compared to $470.9 million in 2019's fiscal year. The company also had a strong fourth quarter, undoubtedly buoyed by the holiday season and the release of the next-gen consoles. For the fourth quarter, GameStop's net sales were down 3% over the same span the previous year, but its net income was $80.5 million. That figure "nearly quadrupled" net income over 2019, according to GamesIndustry.biz.
With the coronavirus pandemic seemingly nearing its end, it will be interesting to see what impact this might have on GameStop in 2021. The company also attributed its struggles in 2019 to a lack of interest in PS4 and Xbox One, but demand for the next-gen consoles remains quite strong, despite low supply. If Sony and Microsoft can make more consoles available throughout the year, it's possible that GameStop could see better numbers. Of course, there's also the rumored Nintendo Switch remodel, which would also provide a strong benefit.
While many have bet against GameStop's survival, Microsoft entered a strategic partnership with the company last year. As a result of the partnership, GameStop receives a cut of lifetime revenue from Xbox All Access subscriptions, as well as updated technology in its stores. Given GameStop's stronger showing at the end of the year, it seems that partnership already might be benefiting both companies! For now, gamers will just have to wait and see what the future holds for GameStop.
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