No, that headline isn’t a mistake. Despite many retailers closing their doors to consumers as a preventative measure against COVID-19, GameStop believes that the should remain open as they are essential to consumers during these times.
The report comes from Kotaku, whom of which were able to receive a company memo issued to staff.
“Due to the products we carry that enable and enhance our customers’ experience in working from home, we believe GameStop is classified as essential retail and therefore is able to remain open during this time
We have received reports of local authorities visiting stores in an attempt to enforce closure despite our classification. Store Managers are approved to provide the document linked below to law enforcement as needed.”
Understandably, many are currently looking towards gaming as a means to keep them busy during these city lockdowns. In fact, so many that it has actually broken records on Steam with overall gaming and streaming usage seeing a massive boost. So it’s no wonder why GameStop may feel that they are an “essential” retailer as many are flocking to gaming.
However, let’s be perfectly clear here, GameStop is anything but that. We have all heard of a story coming out of GameStop, and this certainly isn’t doing them any favors by putting their own employees at risk, along with the public, just to take advantage of the current opportunity. At the end of the day, playing video games is a hobby and a want, whereas stores that fall under the essential category are typically suppliers of food and medical supplies, something we actually need.
In the least, shortly after the Kotaku article went up, GameStop did issue a statement saying they would work on cutting down store hours.
We are working diligently during this unprecedented time to provide our customers & associates with the safest environment possible. Please see below for details on new changes we are enacting & click here for our full statement: https://t.co/qP9jDQUmjs pic.twitter.com/d99kxviz7Q
— GameStop (@GameStop) March 19, 2020
At a time like now, people should focus on what they need instead of what they want, right? Gaming is a luxury and not a necessity. At the very least, people can also buy their games digitally/online, so even then, GameStop isn’t an “essential” retailer.