GameStop is exploring ways to change how customers experience its stores through some strategic redesigns, the company announced in a recent press release. The distributor of physical games, accessories, and collectibles has partnered with a design firm to "strengthen its focus on creating unique in-store experiences." This announcement follows reports from earlier in the year that suggested GameStop might be making these types of changes as well as other reports of low revenue and stock prices.
Immersion, achievement, creativity and community are the four "major motivations" of gamers that GameStop and design firm R/GA will focus on when creating these new concepts for the brick-and-mortar stores. While current GameStop establishments have a few game demo areas set to let shoppers test out certain games, these new store designs will give people more ways to try new games before purchasing them. Stores will also have a "unique layout and purpose" with some of them supporting esports events while others will be focused solely on retro games and hardware.
These types of GameStop stores won't be popping up on every corner right away though. Pilot stores will be tested in select markets with the hopes of appealing to people who are "searching for experiences in gaming beyond the console," GameStop said.
"We're on a journey to use our vast retail footprint to provide an engaging and well-thought-out experience that enhances our consumers' gaming interests," said Frank Hamlin, chief customer officer at GameStop. "Among its many strengths is R/GA's ability to leverage consumer insights and technology to reimagine the experience our consumers can have in our physical space. Our investment in this partnership is the next stage of our transformation and growth strategy."
Back in March, GamesBeat's Jeff Grubb reported that sources claimed GameStop was exploring ideas for "GameStop 2.0," a plan that included shifting towards a "cultural experience." Extra TVs and other ways that make the stores more inviting were also mentioned, and a projected rollout for August now seems to be in line with GameStop's recent announcement.
GameStop also tested a new benefit for Pro members in select areas not long ago. A promotion that was tested alongside the release of Days Gone also gave buyers an option to get a full refund within days of purchasing the new game. Reports from June showed that GameStop's stock prices had fallen amid low sales, though the announcement from the company about the redesign plans made no mention of these shortcomings.