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.
Agreed. From what I could tell, it seemed like they were micro-managing their managers and employees, who in turn were passing that extreme pressure on down the line to the customer.
I distinctly remember one of the last times I went there (maybe 10 or 12 years ago), I couldn’t decide between two full-price PC games. I finally settled on one of them, took it to the counter, listened politely to the employee’s required spiels, paid for the game, and left.
Just outside the store, I had a quick change of heart, and decided to go back in and buy the other game as well.
I thought the dude at the counter would be happy. After all I was now buying a second game.
Instead, he looked exasperated and said, “Why in the world did you not buy this along with the other one?”
“I thought I could only afford one of them. Then I changed my mind outside. Why?”
“It’s just that it looks better for us if you combine purchases rather than each one single.”
I was trying hard to grasp the concept. “And why is that?”
“Because we have a program where…Look never mind, alright? Thank you very much!”
The whole thing is kind of perverse and for sure incentivizes the wrong things. As the customer I shouldn’t have to see into & worry about how GameStop internally manages their inventory & stores. I should be able to go in an expect to find the games I want most of the time because that’s the whole point.
But I suppose OTOH the current GameStop CEO would say that selling games actually isn’t their main business. Sort of like Uber & Lyft say their drivers aren’t employees because taking people places actually isn’t their main business :-)
Lol, that’s unfortunate. I mean, yeah, corporate looks at item per transaction, because it is a broad measure of whether employees are asking the right questions. But still, complaining at a customer because they want to buy a game…oy.
The fact we’re talking about how they hit their targets or quotas or whatever tells you how screwed up Gamestop usually is.
I think the local employees are fine. I go to the store for geek stuff or sales, but… sitting there watching them use tablets to maximize someone’s trade in, constantly being hounded to join their rewards program or pre-order or something other than buy what’s in my hand, yeah it’s not my favorite shopping experience.
Their business is selling USED games. And they have a ton of them.
My experience with Gamestop has been like many others’ here - they pressure you to preorder, and when a game comes out they only have 2 or 3 copies on the shelf. It’s like they’re actively discouraging you from coming in a buying a new game. It got to the point where if I wasn’t sure I wanted to preorder, I’d just go to Best Buy or Target and pick the game up, since it wasn’t worth making the effort of going to Gamestop. It definitely seems like a weird business direction, but it’s for sure a practice they followed (and they may still follow, though I haven’t been in a Gamestop in a couple of years).