GameStop? More like Game Over. With over 5,700 stores across 14 countries, the company is (was?) one of the world’s largest video game retailers. Unfortunately, those numbers are dwindling fast as the store is facing increased competition from digital game sales. The cost of overhead for renting out store space at brick-and-mortar locations hasn’t helped.
The company’s stock was down 11.1% this Wednesday afternoon alone. Overall shares have fallen more than 60% year to date as well. CFO James Bell has hinted that more re-structuring (possibly including more store closures and layoffs) are expected to continue into next year.
For some, this news is long overdue as many consumers prefer to either buy games digitally, or add to their physical library via online retailers such as Amazon. For others, the news comes as a sobering farewell to another in-store shopping experience not too dissimilar from Toys “R” Us closures last year.
Still, GameStop’s story isn’t over yet. Roughly 95% of its stores are reportedly profitable. Its smaller pop-up stores have stirred up some interest. Perhaps with more robust marketing and a pivot to retro game collectors who obviously prefer the traditional gaming experience, the chain may have hope yet. Only time will tell.