During the week of March 16, GameStop made the decision to keep retail stores open during the coronavirus outbreak, even in states that required all non-essential businesses to close their doors. Its internal memo to workers instructed managers to inform any questioning authorities that GameStop views itself as “essential retail.”
GameStop has decided to reverse that decision and announced that it will close its retail storefronts, go entirely digital on orders, and will offer curbside pick-up at stores and delivery options.
“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,” George Sherman, GameStop’s chief executive officer said in the press release.
“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 company will also “pay employees whose hours have been eliminated for an additional 2 weeks, and will reimburse one full month of employee benefit contributions.” Additionally, the company has stated that any “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.”
GameStop’s decision to not close its doors came during a big week for video games: Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Doom Eternal were both released. GameStop cancelled its late night launches, including the ones for those games, and sold Doom Eternal a day in advance in order to separate the Animal Crossing crowd from the Doom Eternal one.