Following yesterday's official closing
of the deal that saw North American specialty retailer GameStop 'merge with' rival Electronics Boutique, the other shoe has dropped. New information, via the Philadelphia Business Journal, has revealed that EB's Greater Philadelphia headquarters and related warehouses will be closed by the summer of 2006, with the loss of 576 full-time and 159 seasonal and temporary jobs.
Though not entirely unexpected, the closing of EB's West Chester headquarters will apparently be the final step in the removal of the EB/Electronics Boutique name from the North American retail scene, since the piece also revealed that GameStop plans to convert EB Games and Electronics Boutique stores to the GameStop brand over time.
However, a time frame for the conversion has not yet been established, and the likelihood of further store rationalization seems distinctly possible under these circumstances, since the company has 4,200 retail stores, made up of 2,280 EB stores and 1,980 GameStop stores, and many are in extremely close proximity.
GameStop shares were down 34 cents at $30.90 at the end of trading on Tuesday, as many investors waited for the company to announce further financial forecasts based on this consolidation action.