Recently, the news regarding the once-popular video game store chain GameStop has gone from bad to worse. The brick-and-mortar stores have been plagued by the surge of digital game sales, and the company saw it’s stock prices drop as a result. Last year, GameStop saw the potential light at the end of the tunnel with a private firm buyout, but that ray of hope was dashed when the company failed to find a buyer by the beginning of this year. Many thought GameStop was dead in the water, simply delaying their inevitable passing to the great beyond to join once-dominant chains such as Blockbuster Video and Toys “R” Us. Now, GameStop is trying a different approach, attempting to rework offerings to customers in a world of digital gaming dominance.
A few months ago, GameStop announced that it would be testing out new retail locations for select markets, brought upon by the company’s relatively new CEO George Sherman. Recently, a Facebook video published by a GameStop store in Pryor, Oklahoma has given the first glimpse as to what the transformation may look like should the company roll out the changes across the board. The store seems like it will still stock physical games, consoles, accessories, and gaming merchandise, but will function as a gamer hangout as well. In the video, gaming stations, complete with couches and chairs, can be seen. “Retro” consoles, such as the Nintendo Gamecube, N64, and original Xbox can be spotted at multiple gaming stations. According to a comment on the video by the store, they will be hosting ” table top and trading card game events” too, as a conference table can be seen towards the back of the store.
The video is getting mostly positive feedback and many are curious as to when their local stores will receive the same treatment. According to an article from IGN, an unnamed source at GameStop confirms the validity of the changes shown in the video when compared to the internal company blueprints. “Not all stores will look like the one in the video, with some stores redesigned to focus more on esports, retro games (as shown here), or a more traditional design similar to existing stores,” reads the IGN article based on information from their source.
Right now, there has been no word as to when similar changes will be affecting more stores. Time will tell if the revamp and subsequent shift in the GameStop business model will be as successful as investor Michael Burry claims the company can be.