One month after COVID-19 closures, GameStop readies to reopen stores

GameStop has already started reopening stores in South Carolina and Georgia (along with Italy, German, and Austria), and is readying to do the same in other states over the next few weeks.

GameStop says around one-third of its stores in the United States were completely closed down due to COVID-19, but after a month of no business GameStop has reopened some stores and is “preparing for the potential” to get closed stores in more states and countries back up and running again.

The company noted as much in an update on its COVID-19 dealings earlier today, explaining measures it is currently taking in order to “increase financial flexibility and preserve cash flow in the current environment.”

Some of those measures include salary reductions for members of the senior management team and the board of directors, wage cuts for corporate and field support staff, and furlough options for some of those corporate staff members. Specifically, those base salary reductions include 50 percent for CEO George Sherman, and 30 percent for the rest of GameStop's executive team. 

Other measures include reopening stores that were closed due to the yet-ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, stores that were closed to the public barely under a month ago after GameStop (unsuccessfully) argued its physical locations were essential businesses during the crisis.

Roughly one-third of GameStop’s US locations were closed following that pivot, while the remaining two-thirds switched to offer only curbside pickup orders. In its update, GameStop says it has already started to reopen closed stores in South Carolina and Georgia (as well as Italy, Germany, and Austria), though it’s not specified if reopened stores are fully open to the public, or if GameStop plans to stick with the curbside pickup model for the foreseeable future.

"The situation remains very fluid and a great deal of uncertainty remains, however, we entered into this time with a strong balance sheet and believe that we have sufficient cash and liquidity for the foreseeable future and will continue to take all of the necessary steps to ensure GameStop remains a strong and vibrant company at the end of this crisis,” reads a statement from Sherman.  

GameStop also notes it’s readying to potentially re-open other temporarily closed storefronts over the coming weeks, but doesn’t specify which countries or states it’ll be targeting first or if any of the temporary closures will become permanent given its plans to close at least 320 stores for good during the 2020 fiscal year.  

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