GameStop to Close 120 Stores - Expand Into Non-Gaming Fields

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GameStop to Close 120 Stores - Expand Into Non-Gaming Fields

gamestop

GameStop plans to aggressively expand its footprint into gaming-adjacent tech fields.

GameStop, as the name would imply, has traditionally been a store where you stop to buy games. But, in this world dominated by digital distribution and Amazon, good ol' brick-and-mortar stores like GameStop are becoming increasingly irrelevant. In order to combat this, GameStop CEO Paul Raines has announced the dawn of what he is calling "GameStop 3.0," a new phase of the company's lifespan that will see it aggressively expand its footprint into gaming-adjacent tech fields.

Unfortunately, this new initiative will result in a slight shift in focus away from video games, with somewhere between 120 and 130 of its 6,457 GameStop-branded gaming retail locations to close worldwide.

The two biggest fields GameStop is pursuing right now are mobile and Apple devices. While it already buys back smartphones and tablets at its GameStop locations, the AT&T-branded chain Spring Mobile and Apple retailer Simply Mac will be at the forefront of GameSpot 3.0.

GameStop plans to open between 200 and 250 Spring Mobile stores this year, more than doubling the 164 locations it had last year, while Simply Mac will see another 20-25 stores opened in markets underserved by Apple's own retail chain. Raines claims that GameStop is already the third-largest and fastest-growing AT&T retailer in the US.

But it isn't all doom and gloom for the video game shop, as Raines did say that he expects the console gaming space to total $18 billion by the end of 2015.

What do you think of retail gaming stores like GameStop? Is it nice to have a place to go to leisurely browse through games, or should they just go the way of the dinosaurs already?

Source: Games Industry

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I have always been a fan of buying games from Gamestop/EB Games. Yes digital downloads means that you don't have as much of your space taken up on your shelf, but I have always enjoyed that day your game that you pre-ordered has come in, you get to pick it up and crack it open to that new game smell .

Cue millions of gamers cutting off their noses to spite their faces.

...By celebrating the decline of the retail gaming market, you see.

...Because if Gamestop is closing stores and branching out, it probably doesn't speak much to the viability of the market, you see.

Oh hell, Gamestop's evil and closing stores, so who cares?

They're cutting down on games in favor of selling AT&T and Apple devices?
I don't care for Apple and outright refuse to use AT&T, so I guess Amazon will be getting even more of my money.

Why do I have this feeling that the only Gamestop that isn't a thirty minutes away is probably one of the ones closing? Damn it small town America!

But the idea to add Apple and AT&T is pretty stupid and I really don't want a Gamestop employee to ask "Do you want to switch your service provider?" on top of everything else they ask. Guess I'm just going to keep buying games from my workplace. I get 10% off anyway.

While I never worked for Gamestop I worked for EB some 10 or so odd years ago...and as an employee of these kinds of places all I can say is na na na na hey hey hey goodbye. As both an employee and a customers my experiences were almost always shitty, sure there were some amazing gamers who I met and worked with at these places, but at the end of the day I always hated getting off from class and working there. I know this is really gonna suck for some gamers who don't have alternatives but for me personally a small chip off my shoulder broke off and fell away.

Probably the best move they could make. They can't compete with Steam in the digital space, or Amazon in the physical. Both offer better savings and incentives to remain than Gamestop does.

I dunno. While I do go to GameStop to fluff up my game catalog, I find that (personally) one of the best things about it is going into a store when they're at a lull and striking up a conversation with whatever clerk's there at the moment. EVERY GameStop I have frequented has that one guy that will, provided there are no customers, just chill with ya and talk about games going as far back as "My mother used to play this".

There are other options to Apple and AT&T. I mean, it's GameStop. GAME. Why not expand to such things as quirky board games and gaming books? Hell, if I didn't have to go cross town to pick up a couple of source books that I needed, I'd be damn happy!

I still visit and buy from GameStop on occasion, but nowadays I tend to buy from other sources.

There's an awesome indie game store near my grandmother's house that I frequently visit, for one.

While I'm not a huge fan of GameStop as a corporation, I really like the folks at my local GameStop. Shopping there is generally a pleasant enough experience that I'd rather buy games there than at Walmart, when possible.

P.S. Thanks

Mcoffey:
Probably the best move they could make. They can't compete with Steam in the digital space, or Amazon in the physical. Both offer better savings and incentives to remain than Gamestop does.

I had this long rant, but you summed it up pretty nicely, so I'll just quote you in agreement.

Personally I'd love to still go to a Gamestop store and buy myself a physical copy of a game. The problem is, I'm a PC gamer, and the games I buy can only be played from Steam or Origin anyway, so I might as well buy it from there.

I still buy almost all my PS3 games from Gamestop though, mostly because recently with the PS4 being out, PS3 game prices have dropped. I picked up like 4 games one time for barely $15 total, a couple really not even that old, like The Darkness 2 (which still had that really nice artwork poster in the case, so yay)

I'm just waiting for a list of those locations so i can go and buy all the games cheap

Micah Weil:
I dunno. While I do go to GameStop to fluff up my game catalog, I find that (personally) one of the best things about it is going into a store when they're at a lull and striking up a conversation with whatever clerk's there at the moment. EVERY GameStop I have frequented has that one guy that will, provided there are no customers, just chill with ya and talk about games going as far back as "My mother used to play this".

There are other options to Apple and AT&T. I mean, it's GameStop. GAME. Why not expand to such things as quirky board games and gaming books? Hell, if I didn't have to go cross town to pick up a couple of source books that I needed, I'd be damn happy!

Shoot, I remember for a while they had a small used DVD section in every store, with prices low enough it actually convinced my dad to get one of those power up rewards memberships (I've got what's managed to survive of about two years worth of game informers packed away somewhere in a shed). Then they "expanded" into opening up those Movie Stop stores, and got rid of the DVDs in the main stores. Then Movie Stop went under because seriously, it was the mid to late 2000's, the only kind of dedicated video store that had a chance of surviving was a local niche place aimed specifically at nerds[1]. Unfortunately, they didn't bring the movies back into the main stores after that, they just disappeared.

Basically, Gamestop doesn't have a good track record when it comes to expanding in any way other than buying out other game stores. Which they did with Impulse (now Gamestop PC Downloads), which actually does a pretty decent job of competing with Steam. Think they missed a step when they renamed it, though -- Impulse sounds nice and neutral, and those who used it liked it. Gamestop[2] is almost universally hated.

Edit: Huh, apparently it didn't go under, but there's only 45 stores left, all of them in a handful of states in the US, almost all of those in Florida and Georgia.

[1] you know, the kind of place that mostly stocks anime or niche horror or what have you. There's one focused on anime in St. Pete here in Florida.
[2] The company. Gamestop PC Downloads is pretty much just Impulse with a new skin over it and better sales, because Gamestop is a bigger company with more pull with the publishers than Stardock.

so, gamestop's plan is to enter the same space that best buy is in?

sounds like a recipe for success!

*snrk*

"Gamestop closes 120 stores world wide."

Big whoop, there are 120 gamestops in the square mile around my house. I'm not joking, there are two gamestops across the street from one another. There's another one a third of a mile down the road. It's (literally) next door to the movie stop.

Hopefully this will encourage more retail gaming stores to open up! Also, why open an AT&T/Apple store? Both of those companies already have stores of their own.

Zachary Amaranth:
Cue millions of gamers cutting off their noses to spite their faces.

...By celebrating the decline of the retail gaming market, you see.

...Because if Gamestop is closing stores and branching out, it probably doesn't speak much to the viability of the market, you see.

Oh hell, Gamestop's evil and closing stores, so who cares?

I have no reason to care, as I buy most my games digitaly anyway.
Besides, there is always your run of the mill electronics store or supermarket if I must have a physical copy.

I shall not be celebrating though, I have nothing against gamestop.

I haven't shopped at Gamestop in years due to crappy, rude workers, high prices and dumb policies( among other reasons..) but it's still a shame that they're closing some stores and shifting away from games.. maybe if they treated customers better and weren't so horrible they wouldn't have to shift from games and close stores. .there's a reason people like me buy games from Amazon and Best Buy instead of Gamestop

I know Gamestop gets a lot of grief, some of it entirely justified. But I can't see this as a good thing. I can remember when there were multiple stores selling video games in your typical shopping mall, even retail stores devoted exclusively to computer software. Now... well...

Generally speaking, I'd rather have more options, rather than less. Sure, I can get games at Target or Amazon, but my chances of finding someone at a general retailer who actually knows about the products, or which offerings are similar to one another, or even when new releases are coming out diminishes. Having a chain of brick-and-mortar stores with access to each others' inventory lists is what enabled me recently to pick up all the Nintendo DS Castlevania games. It just worked, and that's kind of nice.

...As opposed to my e-book reader, wherein a skipped issue of my magazine subscription has led to a couple of days of type-chatting with someone in a call center in India who wasn't able to help me at all. Whee, the future is now.

I enjoy going to GameStop to see if they have any 'forgotten' games, ones that slipped under my radar when they were first released. Plus, a lot of the time they'll have games that other retail stores just won't carry (Best Buy, Target) because the game isn't high market.
I would enjoy GameStop much more if I didn't have to constantly say, "No," when they try to get me to sign up for their card...

Do you think they could expand into anime? Sun Coast left my area, and Best Buy's selection has become a joke, so it's hard for me to find places to buy anime now.

Well shit, I hope the one near me doesn't close. I think I'm one of a very small minority on this site who really loves GS. Because there is no easier way to turn games I don't want into credit towards games I do want, no easier way to buy used without using fucking Amazon, and no better way to express my ineffectual defiance of the overwhelming, ever growing monstrosity that is digital distribution.

I feel quite bad for the folks who are going to be losing their jobs in all this, and I hope they manage to find alternative employment soon.

But I do find it quite a shame that retailers are closing down, I don't trust digital distribution one little iota. Plus I like a disc I can hold in my hand. (Mine don't get grubby because I look after them.) The thing I don't trust about DD is that it's very difficult to get a refund and the fact it takes forever and a day to download them. There's just no customer service, and I guess I do like being served by a human who engages me in chat while making the purchase.

But given how the new XBone and all these current generation consoles are having mandatory installations for their games, I guess that makes my point of view somewhat outdated.

Well... If they're going to have stores that focus on non-game-related stuff, then doesn't that defeat the purpose of calling themselves GameStop in the first place... Might as well call those stores PhoneStop or MobileStop, just to be consistent... unless, of course, they're mobile selling points just so happen to only focus on the gaming aspects of said phones or something...

Sniper Team 4:
Do you think they could expand into anime? Sun Coast left my area, and Best Buy's selection has become a joke, so it's hard for me to find places to buy anime now.

That would be pretty damn awesome... I mean, I agree with Best Buy's selection being a joke, even in my area, and the only other stores I know sells anime are Fry's and f.y.e... and the latter I don't want to personally talk about...

Nonetheless, if GameStop starts having a store geared towards anime, then why not call it AnimeStop or something?

Well now they should start calling themselves Babbage's again, or Electronics Boutique. I wonder what they give someone trading in a 2 year old perfect condition Mac Book Pro? $400? $200 then sell in for over a grand?

crazygameguy4ever:
I haven't shopped at Gamestop in years due to crappy, rude workers, high prices and dumb policies( among other reasons..) but it's still a shame that they're closing some stores and shifting away from games.. maybe if they treated customers better and weren't so horrible they wouldn't have to shift from games and close stores. .there's a reason people like me buy games from Amazon and Best Buy instead of Gamestop

Is gamestop over in the US really that bad? Over here in Australia I've always had great service at EB Games (different name, same company). Prices vary from good to bad, which is normal for retail you just need to shop around. I've been going into the EB games in the city alot more recently during work break, it's right next to a JB Hifi store so I use it to get the prices down, also helps that a mate works there.

There were three stores in my town that sold used games (and weren't Walmart)last month. This month, one of them closed, and now all of a sudden Walmart is taking used trade-ins that have their original packaging. I love game stores, and have been a Platinum member of PowerUp Rewards since March 2010. I love Gamestop being willing to take my trades, and I love going in there to browse. I used to walk down there every few days even when I was broke because I had made friends with the staff. Now I have moved, and the shop is way further from my house, and I can't go as often, but Gamestop is still better for buying used or trading in games, because the only open local game shop charges you one dollar for every day you keep the game before you bring it back (And they aren't even local. They are a multi-location chain, just not nationwide). I hate that they are closing physical locations for all those reasons and more.

Zachary Amaranth:

...Because if Gamestop is closing stores and branching out, it probably doesn't speak much to the viability of the market, you see.

which market though? if you asked a PC gamer why PC gamers were on the decline due to their small sections in stores they would laugh in your face

I did notice that EB games had a bit of a shift to more merchandise (no complaints here) I'm lucky enough to have the internet and means to buy fully digital but I don't like the Idea of stores going

I don't know...maybe if something can be digital it will no longer be viable to have stores dedicated to it

fenrizz:

Besides, there is always your run of the mill electronics store or supermarket if I must have a physical copy.

Are you that out of touch with retail purchases?

Vault101:

which market though? if you asked a PC gamer why PC gamers were on the decline due to their small sections in stores they would laugh in your face

You know, you edited out the word "retail" so I can't help but think your confusion is disingenuous.

PC gamers aren't exactly in a strong retail scene to begin with, but I'm sure you knew that, too.

Zachary Amaranth:

You know, you edited out the word "retail" so I can't help but think your confusion is disingenuous.

PC gamers aren't exactly in a strong retail scene to begin with, but I'm sure you knew that, too.

I didn't edit it out I forgot to put it in....

which market though? if you asked a PC gamer why PC games were on the decline due to their small sections in physical stores they would laugh in your face

I buy all my games at Gamestop, even worked there for a while, so I hope the local one doesn't close. That'd be awful for my gaming hobby.

Seriously one of the most retarded things they can do. I work for said company, and I absolutely *loathe* when people come in with phones/tablets. 9/10 times people just want the cash for them, so you can only assume that they are stolen. Yeah, we can refuse things if we think they are stolen items, but that's not going to stop them from trying to hock it down at the next Gamestop in the next town over or whatever. I admit, recently they added something new to the trade in software to inform you if it is stolen, but that only works if the phone/tablet is reported as stolen. For all we know, that person just stole that phone 30 minutes ago and the person they stole it from thinks they just misplaced it somewhere and is probably still looking for it while this douche is selling it to a Gamestop location. It's just not a good idea. There's already plenty of stores out there that deal with the phone/tablet scene. Gamestop should branch out into other areas of GAMING such as CCG's, table top RPGs, books/comics(or graphic novels if you feel like being picky about it), and other miscellaneous gaming related things like action figures, statues, etc. I've had plenty of customers walk in and wonder why we don't try to be a "one stop shop" for virtually all gaming needs.

Just because a platform has games available on it, doesn't mean we need to necessarily go head over heels for it. I personally don't understand the allure of gaming on a phone/tablet. Sure, it gives you little "gaming encounters" throughout the day if you have to ride a bus/train anywhere, or just on your lunch break, or to give your kid something to do while you wait in a doctor's office, or shop. And, I'm not alone in thinking this. Lots of people that come into my store and I chat with feel the exact same way. It's like mobile gaming is the red-headed step child or something. No one really likes you, mobile gaming, but we respect your right to live just enough to not completely shun you either because there are times when you come in handy.

I also would mention something about if Gamestop is going to close down 120 stores, instead of opening these waste of space stores(unless you're in a major city/metropolitan area, I hear those stores actually do pretty well in those areas) that Gamestop could, at the very least, use all that money saved and start offering it's non-managerial hourly associates more hours per week. But, lets be honest, it's a huge corporation and it's out to make money, so all it would do is simply pocket the money it would be making from not having to pay the bills/employees from those 120 stores and just keep on trucking.

Zachary Amaranth:

fenrizz:

Besides, there is always your run of the mill electronics store or supermarket if I must have a physical copy.

Are you that out of touch with retail purchases?

I'm not quite sure if I understand what you mean?
Would you mind elaborating?

RicoADF:

crazygameguy4ever:
I haven't shopped at Gamestop in years due to crappy, rude workers, high prices and dumb policies( among other reasons..) but it's still a shame that they're closing some stores and shifting away from games.. maybe if they treated customers better and weren't so horrible they wouldn't have to shift from games and close stores. .there's a reason people like me buy games from Amazon and Best Buy instead of Gamestop

Is gamestop over in the US really that bad? Over here in Australia I've always had great service at EB Games (different name, same company). Prices vary from good to bad, which is normal for retail you just need to shop around. I've been going into the EB games in the city alot more recently during work break, it's right next to a JB Hifi store so I use it to get the prices down, also helps that a mate works there.

Before EB games was bought out by Gamestop, I use to always get great service at EB games.. but Gamestop? not so much. i told this little "tale" before but basically that last time i was at Gamestop,(about 3 years ago) the manager, who was the only employee at the store at the moment, took about a half hour to walked a 5 minute walk to the former EB game store that had became second gamestop store in the mall in my city.. why? because he was too busy chatting a flirting with a goth girl that had no interest in him.. he was a irresponsible manger and one of the employees who worked there told me he wasn't a fun guy to work with.. always rude, and taking breaks instead of doing work. yet some how he's still a manager there..

Vault101:

I didn't edit it out I forgot to put it in....

You quoted me. You removed the part where I explicitly addressed it. Don't pretend otherwise. You don't "forget" to put in using the quote feature.

But your own response still highlights why your question (and PC gaming overall) is largely irrelevant.

fenrizz:

I'm not quite sure if I understand what you mean?
Would you mind elaborating?

Most people don't have such easy access? Saying "pfft, you can go elsewhere" is out of touch with the reality. It's like when Bush asked why all the poor people impacted by Katrina didn't just hop in their range rovers and wait the storm out in their second home in the Hamptons.

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