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GameStop announces executive pay cuts, will reopen some stores amid COVID-19 pandemic

The struggling game retailer addresses future plans

person walking past a very depressing-looking GameStop store with “STORE CLOSING” and “NOTHING HELD BACK!” signs in the front window Photo: Russ Frushtick/Polygon
Cass Marshall is a news writer focusing on gaming and culture coverage, taking a particular interest in the human stories of the wild world of online games.

GameStop has announced plans to help deal with the impact on its business caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes executive pay cuts, furloughs for employees, and reopening some stores.

George Sherman, GameStop’s CEO, will be taking a temporary base salary reduction of 50%, while Jim Bell, chief financial officer, and the remainder of the executive leadership team will be taking a reduction of 30%. Directors will receive 50% less cash compensation from the board of directors. In addition, other members of the corporate staff and operating units will receive pay cuts and furloughs.

GameStop announced plans for re-opening retail locations “in the coming weeks” internationally and in two U.S. states. As GameStop was unable to pay “a portion of certain lease payments” due to “governmental regulations and certain landlord decisions to close properties”, the company is in discussions on how to defer or abate these payments in the coming months.

The company said it has “begun the process of re-opening stores in Italy, Germany, Austria and the states of South Carolina and Georgia and is preparing for the potential to re-open in other operating countries and states in the coming weeks.” About one-third of GameStop locations are closed in the U.S.

In February, Polygon reported that desperate bosses at GameSpot were putting increased pressure on employees to hit elusive sales targets. As part of the response to COVID-19, GameSpot’s announcement states that the company plans to carry less inventory and “match demand with a focus on key hardware, software and accessories products.”

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