Market Overview

GameStop Says It's 'Essential Retail.' Plans To Stay Open During Pandemic

GameStop Says It's 'Essential Retail.' Plans To Stay Open During Pandemic

GameStop Corp. (NYSE: GME) has asked all its stores to continue operating even in the case of state or city lockdowns, claiming it is an “essential retail” service.

What Happened

The video game retailer has placed itself alongside groceries and pharmacies as essential. The company sent a memo to its staff explaining that “Due to the products we carry that enable and enhance our customers’ experience in working from, we believe GameStop is classified as essential retail and therefore is able to remain open during this time.” reported Kotaku, a gaming website.

The company said it was aware local authorities were visiting stores and trying to enforce closure despite GameStop’s “classification.” GameStop has asked its store managers to show the authorities the issued memo. The document asks police officers to call the company’s corporate headquarters if they have issues with GamStop’s policy.

Why It Matters

GameStop’s measures to maintain hygiene in its stores are being questioned. Employees have been asked to source their own cleaning supplies from local businesses, as the company has failed to deliver the cleaning supplies package it said it would.

GameStop has been struggling as the trend switches from physical games

to digital. Total holiday sales for the period ended January 4, 2020, were $1.83 billion, a 27.5% decrease compared to the 2018-19 holiday sales period.

Price Action

GameStop shares traded 7.16% lower at $3.89 in the after-hours session on Thursday. The shares had closed the regular session 11.14% higher at $4.19.

Photo Credit: Dwight Burdette via Wikimedia.


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