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GameStop Closing Hundreds of Stores for Second Straight Year

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BY April 30, 2020
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There are a lot of retail stores taking a hit to sales and profits amidst COVID-19 closures. For some businesses, the economic frailty emerging from the global pandemic halts progress. For other retailers, the Coronavirus is like getting kicked while already down. The news of GameStop closing hundreds of stores is not surprising, given the company’s rough standing. Last year, the retailer shut down over 321 stores across the country. In their latest earnings call, expectations seem to be setting a similar reduction in place once businesses open back up.

Why is GameStop Closing Hundreds of Stores?

GameStop Closing Hundreds of Stores Image Credit: GameStop

It’s not fair to say that COVID-19 is necessarily burying GameStop unassisted. The store is hurting and has been for some time now. As retail habits in the 2000s developed a strong habit of shopping online, GameStop and other big-box retailers suffered. Things arrived at a low point last year when GameStop closed 321 stores worldwide. 2020 looked rough, to begin with, and now, Coronavirus closures and slower business posture history to repeat itself.

In Q4 2019, the company lost 28% of its sales. The numbers only get worse as you look at Q1 2020. The move is not to shut down GameStop as a retailer, but rather “de-densify,” as spoken in the company’s earnings report. So, is GameStop closing hundreds of stores a move to save the company or one more step towards an eventual ending?

Can These Closures Be a Good Thing?

GameStop Closing Hundreds of Stores Image Credit: GameStop

Here’s the fun thing about capitalism, should you subscribe to its sense of morals: loss isn’t always bad. Shutting down stores can be a way to save the company, rather than lead to a doomed future. As people lose their jobs, companies often see human loss as a means to save the business. So, what does GameStop look like going forward? Plans to move store layouts to a more social design are already underway. GameStop is looking at setting up more space to play games, and less to buy in an effort to increase visitors. Likewise, products moved to a more pop-culture focus over the last few years. Things like Funko Pop! figures and apparel take up just as much space on shelves as games now.

GameStop Closing Hundreds of Stores for Second Straight Year Image Credit: GameStop

The decision to close over 300 stores is not one of defeat, but survival. Interestingly enough, Coronavirus flubs don’t extend into gaming retail as much as you’d think. The increased downtime for people sheltering at home and social distancing yields for a lot of gaming time. As a result, a Coronavirus Nintendo Switch shortage is underway. Even GameStop saw good sales increases over the past month.

Is the Coronavirus Changing your Gaming Habits?

If you play games regularly, then how do you see COVID-19 changing your habits? Personally, I still work full time from home and don’t have any extra free time. Overall, my life is relatively the same. Yours might be different and in a lot of ways, and we want to hear about it. Let us know in the comments. Thanks for reading Comic Years for all things gaming, comics, and pop culture!

Featured Image Credit: GameStop

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Taylor loves to play video games in his spare time. He has two degrees in Political Communication and wrote his thesis on Marxism and the exploitation of college athletes. In his spare time, he loves spending time with his wife and two Toy Australian Sheppards. He’s always got headphones in, and he’s a diehard Cubs fan.

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