…which made sense before some contraction of the physical games market. They were likely making reasonable bank at all those locations. We did lose one store here about a year ago. At one time there were five!
Yeah, the store I used to manage is long gone, but the mall it was in was on life support a decade ago. I’m sure there are plenty of locations that make good sense to close. I don’t see it as a sign of weakness, but of efficiency (which can be overdone, certainly).
This mall is still doing ok-ish, but it lost two anchors because of the Sears debacle and The Bon Ton closing down for good. The only thing left anchoring is the company I work for (Boscov’s) and a lot of smaller mall stores. The Gap just closed up though. It just seems like Gamestop’s model has moved them out of the enclosed malls and into the strip center locations.
As you say though, this is probably right sizing things. They just don’t need as many locations and it will help in the long run. People should realize they have 5,830 stores. This is a tiny fraction they are closing.
They’re going to do gangbusters business with the next round of consoles. No Toys R Us anymore is going to have a huge positive effect on their sales and presales IMO.
We have two in the area 3 stores if you count a city a bit aways. At one time it seemed like we had a ton of them. I imagine we can support a couple in key locations, no more.
When I was in NJ, it seemed like the one mall had that many just itself. They wanted foot traffic.
One reason for more stores was the trade-ins. If you could service an area with a closer store, you were getting more trade-ins from the surrounding area. Kids on bikes. Mom always shops at that strip. That kind of thing drove more foot traffic as you say. I think that’s why they’re more committed to the strip malls. They also seem to get close to Walmart whenever possible, because again, trade-ins and foot traffic.
As long as there are physical games, there will be Gamestop locations because trade-ins are what allows them to be profitable. As I’ve also often said, you want these stores there. It helps keep videogames in the front of people’s minds… specifically big AAA Call of Duty style videogames along with more hobbyist type games from smaller publishers. They have the broadest selection of titles and people can keep rotating their own purchases through for some money toward the next one, which is how many people keep up with an expensive hobby.
So anyway, I think they’ll just continue to be more strategic about their locations and closing this small percentage of stores will help. Consider this… who exactly is going to be pick up the slack when they close a store? It’s not like there’s another videogame chain waiting to fill the location. Those customers will go to a Gamestop not far from the one that closed which will prop that one up a bit more.
Yeah, this is always my argument. However you feel about the implementation, a ubiquitous national chain of video game stores is good for the industry.
I wonder if any publishers have estimates on how much they’d lose in sales if Gamestop ceased to exist, and wonder how many smaller releases would probably be killed because of it.
I’m betting they’re well aware of what percentage of sales Gamestop is to their total and that they need physical games in their stores to avoid a big dip. That’s a lot of stores to fill with videogames!
Well, not THAT many. I’m always annoyed to see they only got two copies of the game I wanted. You said they had about 5,800 stores? So that’s 11,600 copies of that game? That’s not much. Of course, that’s the smaller niche games I’m talking about specifically.
They like to punish people who don’'t pre-order.
It’s not really that they want to punish non-preorders, it’s that they want to force all such people to buy pre-owned copies. There are plenty of people who will buy a new copy in preference to a pre-owned one next to it, especially given that for new releases it’s often a tiny discount like $5. If the new copy just doesn’t exist then they will generally get the sale on the other one.
Their “Circle of Promise” included quotas in pre-orders, reward card sign-ups, and yes used games. It was never used games only. I understand they do make a ton of money on those though and really want to push it, but they didn’t lecture people about pre-ordering for nothing. Yes, I do mean lecture.
In the era of same-day digital releases being mandated by console manufacturers for almost all games, it becomes much harder to push preorder-or-you-won’t-get-it sales practices on anything except niche games and limited-edition SKUs, both of which traditionally tend to be preorder-only regardless.
I’ve softened on GameStop recently. I go in a lot to hunt for Amiibos and the staff have been super nice lately. Maybe because I’m not a neck beard, I dunno. I even had a guy call me weeks later when a Link amiibo came in and said he remembered me and was holding it. That’s how you win customers.
I’ll be sad if they fold. They seemed to have learned their lesson, unlike say, Sears. Plus there’s no other dedicated gaming store out there. We lose Sears and we still have Target, etc. GameStop doesn’t have a competitor so if they fold that’s it.
Used to be the average new GS store had some insane ROI over a couple years. Really a couple, like 1-2-3.
I haven’t bought physical media for any console in many years. My ps4 came with a physical copy of destiny… I think that disk might actually be in it right now, since i don’t have any other physical media.
The last time i remember going into GameStop, was when Bioshock came out, and they refused to sell me a copy because I didn’t preorder. So i just went across the street to Best buy, who of course had tons of copies and sold me one. Because that’s what stores are supposed to do. Sell you things, without requiring you give them an interest free loan first.
Gamestop hate is so 90’s :).
I would buy stock in them now for exactly why the investor is interested. They are super cheap and will continue to be viable as long as consoles are made with physical media. They make money off of used games, used hardware and now gaming swag. New consoles and new games are only even stocked to get the customers in and build loyalty their margins are pathetic. Preorders are not anymore profitable than no presales. Except for the micro $5 loans. It’s to help control cash flow and not over extend their stock.
I would say the purpose of preorders is to:
A) try to capture a salebefpre the game comes out so the customer buys it from you instead of somewhere else
B) drive trade-ins (to help pay for the new game)
C) aid in just-in-time delivery by assessing interest in a game on both a company level and on the level of individual stores. Gamestop isn’t great at this, really, but I can tell you from managing a store that getting preorders helps get extra copies. Believe me, I know damn well that it is stupid to have to tell somebody you don’t have a copy for them when you know the Target next door probably has 20 copies. Nobody wants that. Preorders help determine individual store allocations of games.
I get that, but why does Target have 20 more sale-able copies than Gamestop does? Can’t Gamestop simply order 20 extra copies, and do the same thing Target does with the left-overs? [Mind you, I have no idea what Target does with their leftovers, except that I’ve run across various good deals on their “secret shelf” in the past - that hidden shelf with clearance items on it - do they still even do that?]
They could, certainly. But they’ve also gotten burned badly doing that (winding up with drawers full of extra copies), so they got more conservative. By the time I left there (a decade ago), you were getting maybe .5 extra copies per preorder of a given game. It wasn’t always quite so tight as that. I think they were too tight with that sort of thing, being too conservative.
For a store like Target or WalMart, I don’t think games are a profit center. Pretty sure they make their money on other stuff, not games. Likewise, I imagine they are much more capable of writing off a loss on something like that.
If your business is selling video games… Then you should have enough inventory to sell video games.