Update: GameStop has provided a statement on the report below, noting that it's doing it's best to navigate this ongoing pandemic, which includes taking multiple precautions and making multiple changes to standard store policy.
Here is GameStop’s official response to my piece, which includes no comment on whether it will pay employees due to emergency closure or provide additional sick leave: pic.twitter.com/wVSkbsZbn1— Patrick Klepek (@patrickklepek) March 17, 2020
Original: After issuing an official company statement about the precautions being taken over the coronavirus, GameStop is reportedly struggling to cope with the growing pandemic. In response to the increasingly dire public health threat, many retailers have shut up shop, however, GameStop has opted to continue operations, and it's allegedly causing strife within. The report comes way of Vice Games, which claims to have reviewed a recent memo sent out by the company to its employees.
According to this memo, GameStop has been asking its employees to buy its own cleaning supplies as the company's supply runs thin. Meanwhile, it has also been allegedly requiring employees who removed interactive demo stations paid for by participating business partners to put them back up, and clean them regularly.
"Obviously there are many many, many employees extremely frustrated and anxious about how undervalued they are being treated," said one GameStop employee while speaking to Vice Games. "It's been laid bare that the company values money more than its associates and I have personally debated leaving over concerns around their core morals as well as to protect myself and others by not participating in willingly spreading this epidemic."
Meanwhile, the report also notes that while GameStop is honoring its commitment to let employees stay home if they feel sick -- or if someone they know is sick -- it appears employees are being asked to use their personal time off, vacation days, or sick days. Further, emergency pay is not being offered.
Of course, keeping sick employees home will help curtail GameStop's involvement in the spread of the virus, however, with the retailer operating largely as normal, many will continue to walk in and out of its stores, which is especially a problem given the aforementioned lack of cleaning supplies. And, as previously said, the report claims GameStop is asking employees to secure thier own cleaning products, with the assurance that GameStop will cover the costs.
"Recently, stores were informed that a cleaning supplies package would be provided to include hand sanitizer, among other items," reads a memo sent this morning. "Unfortunately, the source from which [GameStop] was prepared to purchase these supplies was ultimately unable to fulfill the order, and stores should not expect to receive a shipment of hand sanitizer solution for several weeks. Instead, all stores will be receiving an additional supply of hand soap."
"No stores in my area have received cleaning supplies or hand sanitizer," added an employee. "On two different conference calls we were told we had to 'think about the longevity of the business' and that GameStop would have to close stores permanently if we closed for health reasons. So they've basically guilted us into working or we will lose our jobs anyway."
At the moment of publishing, GameStop has not commented on these reports, however, today it did announce it will be suspending its midnight launch events, which tend to draw large crowds. In the most immediate future, this means no late night launch events for DOOM Eternal or Animal Crossing: New Horizons.