With the coronavirus pandemic keeping most people in-doors, the majority of retailers are closing shop, in order to "flatten the curve" and keep more people from getting sick. Of course, not every store can close during the pandemic, as some sites have been defined as "essential retail." However, that definition is being tested in a major way by GameStop. The video game retailer has told managers to remain open regardless of state lockdowns. Many are slamming the embattled retailer for the decision, but GameStop is defending their position, citing a number items they sell as integral for those who are working from home. Additionally, the retailer issued a number of practices GameStop has instituted during the pandemic.
While GameStop does sell certain items that can be used for those that work-from-home, the majority of the company's business comes from video games and other related products. As gamers decry GameStop's decision to consider itself "essential retail," it would be interesting to see how much of the company's business is actually tied to products such as webcams, microphones, keyboards, and monitors. With major games such as Animal Crossing: New Horizons, DOOM Eternal, and Final Fantasy VII Remake set for release in the near future, it's hard not to see those releases as a potential reason for the retailer keeping locations open.
GameStop has been struggling for some time now, as interest in PlayStation 4 and Xbox One have diminished in the lead-up to their upcoming successors. The coronavirus pandemic could very well delay the release of both those consoles, as well as several other highly-anticipated games. That could result in a lot of pain for a retailer that's already struggling.
We are working diligently during this unprecedented time to provide our customers & associates with the safest environment possible. Please see below for details on new changes we are enacting & click here for our full statement: https://t.co/qP9jDQUmjs pic.twitter.com/d99kxviz7Q— GameStop (@GameStop) March 19, 2020
GameStop employees have cited their concerns about the company's policies during the coronavirus pandemic, but it seems that those have mostly fallen on deaf ears. Whether or not that will change as a result of the current outcry remains to be seen.
Should GameStop be considered essential retail? Have you purchased items from the retailer in order to work from home? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!