In the ongoing struggle of brick-and-mortar retail, GameStop may not be the most high profile victim, but it’s definitely taking damage. The company’s closing stores and attempting to push its most profitable angle, used games, so hard that it began punishing employees for selling new games before customer objections reversed the policy. And now the company has made another controversial decision: GameStops, for some reason, will be open on Thanksgiving.
Kotaku revealed the policy, a reversal of three years of staying closed on the day. Top brass stated that it was what the employees wanted:
“To better serve our guests with their evolving holiday shopping needs, this year GameStop will open its stores for a shortened and limited time on Thanksgiving Day,” the company told Kotaku in a statement this afternoon. “Many of our store associates and guests have asked for this. We have heard their requests and are making an adjustment to our previous position on this topic.”
Needless to say, the company was quickly called out by employees and customers for, well, not actually giving them what they want. A lengthy thread on the announcement on Reddit shows that employees, or at least those on Reddit, definitely aren’t fans:
Pretty sure many retailers (aside from your walmarts and targets) figured out the Thanksgiving thing actually cost more money. Not enough sales vs extra holiday pay.
How much you bet they’ll try and somehow get out of paying holiday pay. Gamestop doesn’t do any holiday pay except for SL and ASL. I hear time and a half is confirmed for “eligible associates”. Watch SGAs aren’t eligible and it’s mandated that they work the Thanksgiving shift so SL and ASL can be on board all day Friday. Also, what kind of nightmare is this going to cost on payroll? Single coverage in Thanksgiving (lolz)?
An anonymous manager doesn’t want the time:
Man I don’t give a damn about the 1.5x time. Would much rather enjoy the day off and eat food between families. I’m disappointed.
Another notes this ruins holiday plans:
I live away from my family. I hardly get to visit them. I always banked on thanksgiving day and Christmas Eve/day. Oh well. f*** you and your family, right?
The worst part of all this is that it won’t solve any of GameStop’s actual problems. Every time GameStop sells a customer a video game console, that console also comes with the tools to cut GameStop out of the equation altogether. Sony and Microsoft have stopped trying to outsell each other in the console wars and have instead started trying to sell more games directly to the customers they already have. Lat year, the PlayStation Store, outgrossed the entirety of Nintendo in sales. The ultimate goal of Sony and Microsoft is now to get a console in your house and sell you games from the comfort of your couch.
In other words, GameStop’s products are now its competitors. And it has no choice but to sell its biggest competitors to its own customers. Nor does the company have any way to stop this — GameStop can no more demand Sony and Microsoft shut down their online shops than it can demand developers give them games for free. Being open on Thanksgiving isn’t going to fix this problem for GameStop, and it needs to figure out what will fix it, fast.