GameStop Sends Its Employees Back To Work, Telling Them To Wrap Their Hands In Plastic Bags

GameStop Sends Its Employees Back To Work, Telling Them To Wrap Their Hands In Plastic Bags
Credit: Mike Mozart via Flickr (license)

GameStop is in financially dire straits at the moment; their brick and mortar shops are simply having a hard time getting the traffic through the door as they have to compete with digital downloads of everything except for consoles.  To be fair, there isn’t much of a reason to wait in a line for a midnight release in the modern era, next to the unwashed fans and bent back parents being dragged to yet another midnight release.  Why not just sit in your living room, pop a beer, and wait for the launch with the title already preloaded?

These financial hardships were echoed when GameStop finally closed its stores in the United States for COVID-19; 300 stores were permanently shuttered roughly a day after. Their most recent Annual Income Statement coincide with this belief. Meager profits means eager business, and that shows in the latest dystopic news coming from GameStop.

Employees are being sent back to work in stores, and are being told to wrap their hands in plastic bags to stymie COVID-19’s nasty attempts at spreading like wildfire. The good news is that it appears that the stores aren’t open in a traditional sense; consumers order items from GameStop’s website and go to their nearest retail store.

There, a terse and interesting dialogue occurs between the retail employee and the customer, while the customer stands outside.  The GameStop memo reads that employees are to ‘keep the glass between them and the customers face at all times’ while ‘lightly’ taping a GameStop bag over their arms to ensure cleanliness.

It seems like an interesting enough exchange that I might actually go to a GameStop just to watch them attempt to adhere to the memo while I move my head uncharacteristically like a boxer, just to liven up my day; since it’s the employees that are stuck walking the fine line between business-savvy and absurdly stupid, however, I don’t think I’ll take my chances.

The long and short of it is GameStop is struggling, and forcing their stores to stay open to claw back into the black is simply the wrong way to go about this.  Even if they miraculously recover with their employees using doors like biohazard shields, the fact that they need to do this doesn’t necessarily inspire confidence in gamers, the industry, or even the stock market, where shares are roughly $5 per.

They need a new way of doing business, and they need it soon.  Before their employees start getting violently, and GameStop somehow manages to look even worse.