NEWS

GameStop Claims it’s an “Essential Service” During COVID-19 Pandemic

Retailer stated it would follow authority guidelines while employees would continue to work in stores

Clement Goh  X  Mar 20, 2020 

GameStop is continuing to keep U.S. stores during a worldwide coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic while calling itself an “essential business” as a game retailer.

In a statement given to Kotaku, representatives wrote its video game products “enhance our customers’ experience in working from home,” and encouraged its store employees to challenge law enforcement with provided documents. Its details tell police officers to phone GameStop’s corporate office for any issues.

The retailer continued to detail its actions for customers online and updated their measures on Twitter to reduce store hours while introducing a door delivery service. U.S. customers can pick their games up outside doors for increased social distancing. 

Despite GameStop’s persistence to keep its stores open, local officials in San Mateo county told GamesIndustry it did not see their stores as essential businesses. Officials stated “we’ve not dedicated resources to enforcement,” out of a trust for GameStop to be “good citizens” and close doors on their own terms. The company policies during COVID-19 unsurprisingly caused a wave of concern from store employees left out of a growing work-from-home policy from other businesses.

GamesIndustry received another note from GameStop with its full details below:

"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. Schools, businesses and families are now suddenly dependent on being able to connect through technology.

While there are many businesses and organizations far more critical than ours, we believe we can have a positive impact during this very challenging time. The health and safety of our employees and customers is of utmost importance and we have and will continue to take extensive precautions consistent with CDC guidelines. We are complying with all state, county, city, and local ordinances and we will continue to adjust to any future developments."

The statement was unclear on what was being done to follow safe measures and if stores would be closing in the U.S.

COVID-19 also prompted retailers including U.S.-based GAME to break release dates in order to release Animal Crossing New Horizons and Doom Eternal a day early to prevent large crowds from lining up.

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