In a news release on their company website, Gamestop has announced the closure of stores nation-wide as of today, March 22.
The stores will still provide curbside pickups and E-commerce delivery. So although most will be closed, they will still be running to some degree.
The company has been heavily criticized lately after an update on the company website on Thursday, asking branch managers not to close stores due to Gamestop being an “essential retail” business during the Coronavirus outbreak. As tension rises due to the spread of the pandemic, it seems Gamestop has changed its stance on whether or not they are in fact, essential.
George Sherman, GameStop’s Chief Executive Officer says in the memo-
“This is an unprecedented time and each day brings new information about the COVID-19 pandemic. 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.”
The memo goes further goes on to say-
“All U.S.GameStop employees have been ensured that they do not have to work if they are not comfortable and should stay home if they feel sick. Additionally, the Company has announced it will pay all U.S. employees whose hours have been eliminated an additional two weeks at their regular pay rate based on the average hours worked in the last 10 weeks. In addition, the Company will reimburse all benefit eligible U.S. employees, one month of the employee portion of benefit expenses.”
Although the company has taken a lot of steps to be as safe and as sanitary as possible in the past few weeks, many customers and employees have been urging them on social media to close their doors, stating that people can always buy games digitally or order online.
This is all in the cusp of a very busy week for games retailers, as major games like Doom Eternal and Animal Crossing released on the same day, March 20, and other major releases like Resident Evil 3 Remake and Final Fantasy 7 Remake are fast approaching.
Although the world is feeling the effects of a global pandemic, gamers seem to be taking it in stride, with Steam breaking their record for most concurrent users in a day, and Animal Crossing smashing sales records in the UK. We still have no idea what the long term effects the Corona Virus will have on the world economy and for companies like Gamestop.