The COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak has thrown more than healthcare systems into chaos. Even businesses are at a loss on how to cope in a situation that has forced their employees to stay at home. Some businesses are struggling to remain open, partly to make ends meet and sometimes because they provide essential services. Both of those may be GameStop’s justification for keeping open despite government shelter-in-place orders. It is now changing its tune, though, but not after receiving heavy criticism over the Internet.
GameStop, who was already struggling to stay afloat in an age of game digital distribution, came under heavy scrutiny and criticism for its business practices during this time of uncertainty. Although it did call off its midnight launches, it still pushed through with letting buyers line up for the DOOM Eternal and Animal Crossing: New Horizons launches.
Social distancing considerations aside, GameStop’s biggest sin in the public’s eyes was its decision to keep stores open. In addition to risking the health of both employees and customers, the company has allegedly instructed workers to even defy law enforcers, justifying that it is an essential retail business especially in this time of great need.
In a new press release, the company is announcing that all GameStop stores across the US will be closed to customer access. That doesn’t mean, however, that they will totally be closed. Customers can still do curbside pick-up or have their physical copies delivered to them. And, of course, digital games bought from their online store have no such lockdown limits.
GameStop CEO George Sherman emphasizes that the well-being of its employees, customers, and business partners have always been the company’s priority and will provide proper compensation for workers forced to go on leave or who do not feel comfortable being outside. This, of course, comes after numerous reports of how the company has not taken its own employees’ welfare into consideration in the first place. But at least better late than never closing.