GameStop is shutting some U.S. locations down and switching to door-delivery service at others in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The retailer has kept its stores running even as concerns mounted about the outbreak and the social distancing required to slow it down. A report from Kotaku indicated that GameStop encouraged its employees to keep their stores open even amidst state-driven lock downs, claiming they should be considered "essential retail" because their products can be used to work from home (GameStop sells smartphones and other devices on top of games). The company defended its intentions but walked back that policy in a statement on its official website.
"Schools, businesses, and families are now suddenly dependent on being able to connect through technology," the company explained. "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."
While GameStop has shut down its locations in California in response to direct orders from the governor for non-essential businesses to close, elsewhere the stores remain open with alterations to their business model. According to an update on GameStop's website, all stores that are open will now only allow for "Delivery@Door" pickup through its site or app.
Place the order online, select pick-up from a local store, and a GameStop employee will meet you at the door to hand off your product. No customers will be allowed inside the store locations, and GameStop has temporarily stopped accepting used game trade-ins and product returns, though it's also extending its return and exchange window to give customers time "once our stores are fully reopened".
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