Update: Gamestop seems to be dropping the ball lately. First, it was having their license to sell being revoked in California, then shortly after the same being done in Pennsylvania. Now, due to pressure, the company has ultimately decided to close all physical stores with the exception of curbside pickups and digital orders. This will go into effect as of March 22, 2020.
GameStop CEO George Sherman has this to say about this recent turn of events;
“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.”
While it’s a good thing that this is happening. Yet on the flipside, ut’s a shame this wasn’t due to protect their workers’ wellbeing, instead of being forced to do so.
Original story below:
Due to a full lockdown order issued in California, GameStop stores in the state have closed their doors. In response to the COVID-19 crisis, Governor Gavin Newsom issued a lockdown policy closing any stores and banning any travel unless “essential.” Initially, GameStop decided to remain open, deeming itself “essential retail” as the game stores also sell hardware such as webcams. At a time in which many people are working from home and communicating over video-conferencing software such as Zoom, webcams and other electronic devices are helpful to facilitate these interactions.
However, the order does not apply to the vast majority of retail stores, citing banks, grocery stores, pharmacies, and laundromats as the businesses to remain open. With that taken into account, GameStop changed its stance, closing its stores in California. According to Kotaku, employees there have been told to use personal time or file for unemployment, as they will no longer receive pay.
Outside of California, GameStop stores have initiated various changes to store policies, such as allowing only ten customers inside at a given time and postponing midnight releases. No word yet on whether GameStop plans on closing its New York locations, as Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a similar executive order to take effect tomorrow evening.