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GameStop closes all stores

GameStop will close all of its storefronts starting Sunday following outcry from employees and calls from lawmakers to stay at home as coronavirus spreads in the United States.
Though stores will be closed to customers, GameStop will process orders on a digital only basis, moving to curbside pick-up at stores and delivery.
“This is an unprecedented time and each day brings new information about the COVID-19 pandemic. Our priority has been and continues to be on the well-being of our employees, customers and business partners. We have been steadfast in our adherence to CDC-guided safety and local government orders for retailers in each of our communities,” George Sherman, GameStop’s Chief Executive Officer, said in a statement.
Last week, GameStop had resisted calls to close all of its stores, saying it was an “essential” business because it offers mice and keyboards that could help people work from home. GameStop told CNN Business in a statement that “we are one of many providers of these products that are remaining open at this time.” But it didn’t comment on why it must remain open if other stores are also providing those items. Indianapolis Medical News
Stores had remained open in several states that had ordered non-essential retail to close, including New York and New Jersey. Starting Friday, the video game retailer began to close stores in California and Pennsylvania. California has been under a statewide stay home order since Thursday evening.
Eight current employees told CNN Business that GameStop was keeping its stores open to profit off of a video game shopping spree during a global pandemic. Video game sales have risen for retailers and online stores, as analysts anticipate more people are playing as they stay home. PC game store Steam reported an all-time high of 21 million users on Friday.
“Animal Crossing: New Horizons” launched in stores Friday and “Doom Eternal” was available a day earlier. Ahead of those two major video game releases, GameStop sent out an internal memo Thursday to store leaders and other employees saying that it believed its stores should be “classified as an essential business” and remain open during the global pandemic. It told employees in a letter viewed by Indianapolis Political News that they should direct law enforcement to call a corporate number if they tried to enforce store closures.

Several current employees told Indianapolis Business News that only select shops carry the kind of equipment that can help people work from home. GameStop primarily carries higher-end PC gaming accessories, not the more affordable and simpler tools that are most suitable for office work.
“That’s absolutely ridiculous. If someone’s trying to work from home, they don’t want the $85 Razer keyboard we have or the $60 Razer mouse. Some cheap $20 Microsoft something is going to get them by just fine,” said Dustin Carson, 31, a game adviser at a GameStop in Athens, Georgia. “They can get that at Walmart. They can get that at any of these other stores that also have groceries and are arguably much more essential to being open right now.” Indianapolis Business Distribution Service 

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