GameStop has been the unenviable recipient of overwhelming criticism in recent weeks.
Following the rapid spread of coronavirus across North America, the US retailer, unlike other non-essential (supermarkets, banks, pharmacies, etc.) businesses, opted to continue operating in the middle of a global pandemic. Naturally, the company immediately found itself under intense scrutiny from critics online, with the overwhelming majority of social media users slamming the decision as irresponsible and potentially harmful. Not just for customers, but staff, too.
The outcry only worsened when an internal document sent to store managers was shared online. The memo instructed staff to tell any authorities that the decision to remain open was justified due to deeming the sale of video games as an “essential service.” Unsurprisingly, the backlash to such claims has been hostile, to say the least, though the retailer appears to finally be giving many cause to celebrate.
GameStop has confirmed that it plans to close 300 stores this year in a move, it says, is part of an ongoing effort to “de-densify.” As you might expect, given recent controversies, users over on Twitter are celebrating the news with glee.
We already know @GameStop is failing, they've been a joke for years now. The sad thing is, they are more than likely using this pandemic as one last cash grab and then will use it as a convenient excuse to close for good so they don't have to tell their employees the real reason.
— Joseph (@QuantuSanity) March 27, 2020
@GameStop @gamestopcorp it is so sad you thought your stores are essential retail and that you care more about keeping stores open during a global pandemic than any of your employee's health. will never go into another location ever again. go out of business already #covid
— MagicCyclops™ Ⓥ (@MagicCyclops) March 27, 2020
Bye bye. Walmart is already selling games 10 bucks cheaper than GameStop. They're done.
— Stinko Binko (@BinkoStinko) March 27, 2020
.@GameStop you’re a trash company can’t wait til u go bankrupt xoxo ?
— Sadnar Lothbrok ⚔️? (@sopranohsnap) March 27, 2020
— #GameIsLife?? (@JustCarefree) March 27, 2020
By the time I moved out of my parents' house, all three of those locations were still operating, but *they were all GameStops.* So yes, while the existence of a game specialty retailer like GameStop is necessary for a healthy game industry, there are currently *too many of them.*
— Craig (@discarddungeon) March 27, 2020
As for the here and now, GameStop has remained steadfast in its decision to continue operating amidst the coronavirus outbreak, though has since made further changes to its temporary guidelines, including the introduction of contactless deliveries.
Trade-in and exchange services remain unavailable, however, with store opening times also reduced. Welcome safety measures, then, though in light of recent events, I imagine many will hold off on bringing their hands together in applause until GameStop caves to pressure and commences a full lockdown until the coronavirus crisis lessens.
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