GameStop Closes Stores to Customers Amid Coronavirus Emergency

GameStop is closing stores to customers and switching to "delivery at the door" service. Stores are closed completely in California and Nevada.

Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty

GameStop will shut down stores to walk-in customers today, according to Kotaku, which obtained a letter to employees from CEO George Sherman. Many stores are closing entirely, while locations that remain open will switch to “delivery at the door” service where customers can make orders ahead of time on the GameStop app and pick them up curbside. In states where stores are closed completely, GameStop will still provide standard delivery to homes.

The company began closing down its stores entirely in California after Governor Gavin Newson instructed all non-essential businesses to close as part of a statewide “shelter in place” order.

“We are closing our stores in California,” the company said in a note to stores obtained by Kotaku. “The closure will remain in effect until further notice as we obtain more information from the California Governor’s Office.”

Stores have also been closed in Nevada, according to Kotaku. It’s unclear how GameStop is proceeding in other states with similar “shelter-in-place” orders, such as New York, New Jersey, Oregon, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Illinois.

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GameStop has vowed to give 80 hours of extra paid time off to employees of closed stores who are eligible for PTO. Those who aren’t will be given two weeks extra pay based on the average hours they’ve worked in the last 10 weeks. This comes after Kotaku received reports that GameStop had informed employees that they would not be compensated while stores were closed, instructing workers to use personal time off or file for unemployment.

The store closures came just days after Kotaku received a copy of a memo that circulated among GameStop management which urged store operators to keep their locations open in the event of coronavirus-related state shutdowns, arguing that the brand offered an essential service to customers during the national emergency.

GameStop explained its stance in a message to customers in the hours after Kotaku’s report:

“While GameStop is best known as a provider of gaming and home entertainment systems, we also offer a wide array of products and devices that are important to facilitate remote work, distance learning, and virtual connectivity,” GameStop wrote on its website. “As millions of Americans face unprecedented challenges adapting to virtual learning, working and interaction, there is significant need for technology solutions and we are one of many providers of these products that are remaining open at this time.”

In the letter to employees announcing the new “delivery at the door” procedure, Sherman sought to reassure store workers that their jobs would not be terminated if they weren’t comfortable coming into work during the health crisis.

“We respect that everyone has personal situations and preferences, so your decision will not impact your position with the company,” Sherman said.

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We’ll keep you updated as we hear more about this developing story.