GameStop now set to reopen retail stores amid COVID-19

A decision has been made to reopen GameStop locations. After the company controversially decided it was essential retail back in March, it finally made the right decision and shut down its physical stores. But it now sounds like GameStop is jumping the gun a bit here by reopening select locations worldwide amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This news comes on the heels of GameStop executives taking deep pay cuts in order to take the pressure of the struggling national retailer. All the details are down below.

Preparing to reopen GameStop locations

According to today’s announcements, GameStop is planning to reopen retail locations in “the coming weeks.” The company will reopen GameStop locations across Europe including Italy, Germany, and Austria, while American locations in the states of South Carolina and Georgia are expected to be open for business soon as well. Today’s business update also stated it is preparing to do much of the same elsewhere both worldwide and the US. As of right now, about one-third of GameStop locations are completely closed while the rest are offering curbside pickup.

The company was already in financial difficulty but it sounds like the pandemic is amplifying the situation. GameStop said it was unable to fork out a “portion of certain lease payments” based on government regulations and “certain landlord decisions to close properties.” Talks have already begun on how to lessen these payments as GameStop executives have now accepted big-time pay cuts to seemingly help the cause.

Executive Pay Cuts:

GameStop’s CEO Bill Sherman will be taking a temporary base salary cut to the tune of 50% while CFO Jim Bell and the rest of the executive staff will be seeing 30% cuts. GameStop board of directors, which now includes the former president of Nintendo of America Reggie Fils-Aimé as Kotaku points out, will also be taking 50% pay drops.

Along with executive-level pay cuts, less new inventory on store shelves, and possible reduced work weeks for corporate support staff, it sounds like other employees will also be subject to lighter paychecks as well. Today’s announcement also states that beginning on April 26, 2020, “certain other employees across the Company’s worldwide operating units” will also receive temporary pay cuts “between 10% and 30%.”

9to5Toys’ Take:

While it sounds like GameStop is jumping the gun to some degree here, and they may very well be, it does seem like the plan to reopen GameStop locations won’t begin for another couple weeks at best. While likely still too soon, the company has already announced 300 store closures this year and is seemingly doing everything it can to keep the doors open at this point. Let’s just hope the pay cuts don’t trickle down to the average store employee that will need as much cash as possible before potentially having to look for a new job.

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