GameStop Insists On Staying Open During Pandemic, Believing Themselves Essential Retail

GameStop Insists On Staying Open During Pandemic, Believing Themselves Essential Retail
Credit: Vito via YouTube

GameStop kind of sucks.

A few days ago, we reported on a video by popular YouTuber Camelot331, where he discussed multiple sources that had come out and insisted that GameStop had lied in their press release on their efforts to battle COVID-19. In short, GameStop stated that they were supplying all stores with the necessary tools to prevent the virus spreading and allowing any employee who needed to stay home to do so with no ramifications.

Instead, according to multiple anonymous GameStop-affiliated sources (including a corporate connection), GameStop told store leaders to pay for supplies out of pocket and provided them with no help whatsoever. Additionally, employees would be reprimanded and possibly terminated if they stayed home with symptoms from the virus, and were told to refuse to shut down if law enforcement came to make them.

So what’s next for a company after they lie in a press release, endanger employees, and risk the infection of every single person to enter their stores? Apparently, you brand yourself essential so that you can stay open during a worldwide pandemic.

“Due to the products we carry that enable and enhance our customers’ experience in working from home,” GameStop wrote in a memo obtained by news outlet Kotaku, “we believe GameStop is classified as essential retail and therefore is able to remain open during this time.”

Really, what part of a GameStop store is essential for working from home? And I’m saying that as a gaming news journalist.

“We have received reports of local authorities visiting stores in an attempt to enforce closure despite our classification,” the memo continues, referencing their instructions to employees to deny law enforcement. “Store Managers are approved to provide the document linked below to law enforcement as needed.”

Honestly, it’s ridiculous, and it’s (hopefully) the sort of PR move that puts a company in the ground. To think that the executives of GameStop are putting their store employees at constant risk of becoming the next victim of this potentially-deadly virus so that they can get a few extra bucks is obscene, to say the least.

And to be clear, this isn’t the fault of your local GameStop. These are things being decided from the board, coming down from the top – you know, the people who aren’t manning the stores and risking infection every day. The people at your local GameStop are being essentially forced into this, so don’t go up the street to yell at the poor employees that have no choice in the matter.

You should, however, avoid any GameStops at all costs. Not only because of social distancing, but because GameStop has no defense in this, and doesn’t deserve another penny of your support.