Days after defending its decision to stay open during thepandemic by claiming it was providing “essential retail,” GameStop is closing stores to customers and is instead directing them to curbside pickup or to order items online.
“This is an unprecedented time and each day brings new information about the COVID-19 pandemic,” George Sherman, GameStop’s CEO, said in a press release announcing the change. “Our priority has been and continues to be on the well-being of our employees, customers and business partners.”
The move is a change from a staff memo sent last week and obtained by Kotaku where the company wrote it believes “GameStop is classified as essential retail and therefore is able to remain open during this time.” Last week, the company opened its doors to launch two hotly anticipated games, Doom Eternal and Animal Crossing: New Horizons, though it did to try to avoid possible crowds at its stores.
Over the weekend, Best Buy announced that it wouldto avoid people entering its stores and would no longer bring large products like refrigerators or big-screen TVs into customers’ homes.
GameStop says it will pay “US employees whose hours have been eliminated an additional two weeks at their regular pay rate based on the average hours worked in the last 10 weeks” as well as “reimburse all benefit eligible US employees, one month of the employee portion of benefit expenses.”