gamestop pandemic

GameStop Calls Itself ‘Essential Retail’ During Pandemic Lockdowns and Releases New Policies

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The latest parts of the GameStop pandemic plans during government efforts to flatten the coronavirus COVID-19 curve involves a rollout of new policies and refusal to close stores when other retailers are temporarily shutting down for the sake of public health. The company issued two updates of its policies on Twitter on March 19, 2020. In addition, Kotaku acquired a staff memo informing employees that it is an “essential retail” store that will remain open.

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The official response came in the form of two tweets. The first went out at 1:49pm PT and went over eight “actions” GameStop is taking during the pandemic. However, a second missive at 5:17pm PT updated all of these guidelines.

Here is the GameStop pandemic response that was officially revealed. Some of the notions were brought up in a previous March 17, 2020 memo Kotaku gained hold of.

Specific actions we have taken include:

  • Instituting multiple social distancing practices in our stores, up to 10 people in the store, including store associates. This is up to store discretion.
  • Following CDC recommended guidelines to adopt in-store line management practices that creates a 6-foot parameter between customers in checkout lines.
  • Reducing our store hours of operation to 12-8pm, which will be in place until Sunday, March 29th.
  • Rolling out delivery @ door service to allow customers to pick up their purchases at the front door of our US store locations.
  • Suspending temporarily our video game and consumer electronics trade-in practices until further notice.
  • Postponing all gaming events and midnight launch activities until further notice.
  • Disabling temporarily all interactive gaming stations in our stores.
  • Encouraging customers to leverage our online ecommerce capabilities and direct deliveries to their homes from our warehouses or stores.

As for the memo Kotaku acquired, it suggested store managers should tell police the company is an “essential retail” establishment, along the lines of a grocery store or gas station. One of the quotes noted, “Due to the products we carry that enable and enhance our customers’ experience in working from home, we believe GameStop is classified as essential retail and therefore is able to remain open during this time.” Another said, “We have received reports of local authorities visiting stores in an attempt to enforce closure despite our classification. Store Managers are approved to provide the document linked below to law enforcement as needed.”

As another part of the GameStop pandemic measures, it sold DOOM Eternal on March 19, 2020, instead of March 20, 2020, in an attempt to curb the amount of people that might be in-store this week. It shares an official release date with Animal Crossing: New Horizons: March 20, 2020.

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Jenni Lada
Jenni is Editor-in-Chief at Siliconera and has been playing games since getting access to her parents' Intellivision as a toddler. She continues to play on every possible platform and loves all of the systems she owns. (These include a PS4, Switch, Xbox One, WonderSwan Color and even a Vectrex!) You may have also seen her work at GamerTell, Cheat Code Central, Michibiku and PlayStation LifeStyle.