This afternoon GameStop told all of its employee’s that their stores would be staying open despite any concerns of lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic. The news was reported by Kotaku. This follows recent news that they will be cancelling their DOOM: Eternal and Animal Crossing: New Horizons midnight launches across all stores.
This report has been met with GameStop employees saying that the retailer is making no effort to enforce sanitary safety across their stores. Apparently just ‘recommending’ the use of sanitary items, and not supplying them.
Part of their statement from Twitter reads:
“We are working diligently during this unprecedented time to provide our customers & associates with the safest environment possible.”
However many GameStop employee’s talked to Kotaku, and fans took to Twitter voicing their concerns.
Close your stores and pay your employees. You are NOT “essential retail”
— Erica Aimee 🕑 ANIMAL CROSSING (@isillie) March 19, 2020
The chain of stores believes they are “essential retail”, and that their product line “enhances the experience of working from home”. Putting themselves alongside pharmacies and food stores. A statement from a memo sent to staff reads:
“We have received reports of local authorities visiting stores in an attempt to enforce closure despite our classification. Store Managers are approved to provide the document linked below to law enforcement as needed.”
The document then refers any law enforcement to contact GameStop’s corporate office. These decisions have apparently left many staff feeling fearful.
One staff member reached out to Kotaku and told them that they had “been with the company almost a decade”, and that “this is indefensible”.
The decision of GameStop staying open has been met with internet-wide criticism. Despite adding Reggie Fils-Aimé to their Board of Directors GameStop have made a massive miss-step.
How do you feel about GameStop claiming to be “essential retail” and staying open during this dangerous time? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter! And as always, thanks for reading Culture of Gaming!