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GameStop closing stores to customers, moving to digital orders and curbside pickup

Customers will not be able to enter stores starting March 22

a GameStop store on a street corner Photo: Shutterstock
Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

GameStop is closing its U.S. stores to customers effective Sunday, March 22, in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and to government orders to shut down nonessential retail businesses. GameStop said it will process incoming orders on a digital-only basis; the company is moving to ecommerce delivery only, and will offer curbside pickup at brick-and-mortar stores.

The move to restrict customers from entering GameStop retail locations comes after intense criticism of the company’s plan to keep stores open and concern over employees’ well-being.

“This is an unprecedented time and each day brings new information about the COVID-19 pandemic,” GameStop CEO George Sherman said in a news release. “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. As millions of Americans look to GameStop to adjust to their new normal of increased time at home, for work, learning and play, we have implemented practices to help ensure the safety and health of our employees, customers and partners. We believe it is prudent to institute further safety protocols while meeting this increased demand through curbside pick-up. As such, stores that remain in operation will provide only pick-up at the door or delivery to home activities to further protect our employees and customers.”

GameStop said it will also continue to pay employees who have had their hours eliminated for the next two weeks.

“All U.S. GameStop employees have been ensured that they do not have to work if they are not comfortable and should stay home if they feel sick,” GameStop said in a statement. The company said it will pay furloughed employees “an additional two weeks at their regular pay rate based on the average hours worked in the last 10 weeks.” GameStop also said it will reimburse all benefit-eligible U.S. employees “one month of the employee portion of benefit expenses.”

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