GameStop Opening 80 Stores for Kids This Holiday Season

GameStop Opening 80 Stores for Kids This Holiday Season

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GameStop Kids aims to "take share away" from other toy stores.

Pretty much everyone loves massive gaming retailer GameStop, but if there's one thing missing from the chain's shopping experience, it's that there just aren't enough kids running around. The company aims to fix this problem by opening stores specifically designed for a younger audience. Appropriately named GameStop Kids, the first opens today in Grapevine, Texas, which is also the location of GameStop's headquarters. The company plans to have 80 GameStop Kids stores ready to go by November 15.

GameStop Kids has been in the works for about seven or eight months, according to CEO Paul Raines, and has been tested in different countries. German GameStops have their own Angry Birds sections, while Australian stores "have a ton of Minecraft product." With GameStop Kids, parents now have a one-stop shopping location for E-rated games, accessories, and gaming-related toys "ranging from a two-foot-tall talking plush Star Wars Chewbacca to a Skylanders backpack."

"This is really a way for us to take share away from people who are in the toy business and have an expanded assortment," Raines said. Whether the stores stay open after the holiday season depends on how successful they are this year, but if everything works out this experiment could become another channel of the company. All of the GameStop Kids stores will be in malls that already have "a better-than-average GameStop."

When I worked at GameStop, toys were never big sellers, and parents generally didn't care enough about ratings to want an entire store for E-rated games. It's an interesting concept, but I'm not sure if it's going to work as well as GameStop wants it to. Either way, the company still has about 6,700 regular stores worldwide to fall back on.

Source: Dallas Business Journal via Joystiq

Image: Dallas Business Journal

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Retail: Slowly dying since... 2003.

I... Actually kinda like this idea.
I mean, normal Gamestops seem focused on selling me the next CoD or whatever, and browsing just leads me to the blockbusters of yesteryear. Maybe this'll put some color back into my library since there shouldn't be a single Gears of War or Battlefield in sight.

Not sure how it'll pan out, but I'll check it out if we get one in the Nashville area.

I predict lots of Nintendo. I'm not saying Nintendo is only for kids, but they are probably the most family friendly, and they certainly have toy lines these stores can sell.
I have to admit, I'm interested in a game store that sells more game related toys. If I see Kingdom Hearts action figures and high quality Pokemon plushies, I won't be able to throw money at them fast enough.

Sarah LeBoeuf:
Pretty much everyone loves massive gaming retailer GameStop, but if there's one thing missing from the chain's shopping experience, it's that there just aren't enough kids running around.

I can't help but detect a hint of sarcasm, Ms. LeBoeuf. You don't want to be too snarky towards Gamestop, they'll sell a used version of your article to advertisers for half the price.

My only hope is I never actually have to go into one of these stores, for fear of seeing all of the horrible shovelware.

this is actually a positive development for parents who want their minor children to play age appropriate games. Good on gamestop for finding and exploiting a neglected market niche.

Another soon-to-be failed experiment. I don't understand this obsession that Gamestop has with keeping it's claws sunk into the retail market. Digital is the future, buddy, it's time to let go and sell those locations to be turned into.. I dunno, frozen yogurt shops.

Okay, a store that sells videogame related toys and games. I can get into that. Maker knows Target doesn't carry enough of those. If I was a kid, I'd love the idea. it's actually a sort of unexplored market.

Having said that, I'm an adult now and I work at GameStop. One thing I hate is parents dropping off their kids at the store because they see it as some sort of day care. They just figure the kid can play games or something while they do their shopping. If the kids breaks or steals something, well, tough luck!

Anecdote time: One time, a kid was literally abandoned at out store. There was a bar right across the street and I think the parents dropped their kid off at GS to go drinking. Closing time came and the kid was still there. We asked him about his parent's whereabouts and he knew nothing. We waited for 30 minutes to an hour and nothing. So we ended up calling the cops to take care of the poor kid. Soon after, the angry parents showed up and collected their child.

If there's one thing missing from the chain's shopping experience, it's that there just aren't enough kids running around.

Oh, did I mention that time we found kid poop at out store?
Yes, poop.
How? Well, it's still a mystery!

PS: Horrible "Kids" logo, btw. Predictable and cliched. Come on, GS.

 

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