The concerns over COVID-19, or the "coronavirus", continue to mount as more and more cases outside of China increase at a rapid rate now that testing is more readily available. With many states on the US side locking down into full quarantine mode, becoming closer and closer to that of the current state of Italy, many businesses are being temporarily shuttered until the spread can be contained. Of course, "essential" businesses can be left open but what's not included in that is GameStop. Unfortunately, GameStop disagrees. 

A big report surfaced yesterday about GameStop sending a memo to all stores about staying open, even in spite of government interruption, because they are an "essential retailer". This move was instantly met with backslash, violently so, with many demanding that the company put their employees first. Now that the backlash has reached new heights, the company has issued a statement in response: 

"While GameStop is best known as a provider of gaming and home entertainment systems, we also offer a wide array of products and devices that are important to facilitate remote work, distance learning, and virtual connectivity," reads the company's official statement. "As millions of Americans face unprecedented challenges adapting to virtual learning, working and interaction, there is a significant need for technology solutions and we are one of many providers of these products that are remaining open at this time.

"Schools, businesses and families are now suddenly dependent on being able to connect through technology. While there are many businesses and organizations far more critical than ours, we believe we can have a positive impact during this very challenging time. The health and safety of our employees and customers is of utmost importance and we have and will continue to take extensive precautions consistent with CDC guidelines. We are complying with all state, county, city and local ordinances and we will continue to adjust to any future developments."

They then claim that they are working "diligently" during this time, though numerous store leaders have come forward to say otherwise, but they did lay out the actions that they are allegedly issuing to all stores for preventative measures: 

  • Instituting multiple social distancing practices in our stores, up to 10 people in the store, including store associates.
  • Following CDC recommended guidelines to adopt in-store line management practices that creates a 6-foot parameter between customers in checkout lines.
  • Reducing our store hours of operation to 12 – 8 p.m., which will be in place until Sunday, March 29th.
  • Rolling out delivery @ door service to allow customers to pick up their purchases at the front door of our U.S. store locations.
  • Suspending temporarily our video game and consumer electronics trade-in practices until further notice.
  • Postponing all gaming events and midnight launch activities until further notice.
  • Disabling temporarily all interactive gaming stations in our stores.
  • Encouraging customers to leverage our online ecommerce capabilities and direct deliveries to their homes from our warehouses or stores.

With GameStop hovering dangerously over that line of total closure, it's understandable that they would cling to any moment to have an edge on the competition. That being said, people always come first. Close your doors.