GameStop is temporarily closing all U.S. stores during coronavirus pandemic

Gamestop Store
Gamestop Store (Image credit: Shutterstock)

What you need to know

  • Recently, GameStop announced it would be keeping stores in California open, in opposition to regulation during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • In a complete turnaround, GameStop has now announced it will be closing all U.S. stores.
  • Digital purchases and curbside pickup will remain as options.
  • Addtitionally, the company will be giving paid time off to employees whose hours were cut.

Just a short bit after GameStop made headlines by announcing it had no intention to close down any stores in California — under the argument it provided 'essential' retail services — the company is changing course. According to a new press release from GameStop, the company will be shutting down all U.S. stores, effective March 22, 2020.

"This is an unprecedented time and each day brings new information about the COVID-19 pandemic. Our priority has been and continues to be on the well-being of our employees, customers and business partners. We have been steadfast in our adherence to CDC-guided safety and local government orders for retailers in each of our communities," said George Sherman, Chief Executive Officer of GameStop. "We believe it is prudent to institute further safety protocols while meeting this increased demand through curbside pick-up. As such, stores that remain in operation will provide only pick-up at the door or delivery to home activities to further protect our employees and customers."

In the meantime, digital operations will continue, so digital games can be purchased and orders placed. Physical orders can also be picked up at local stores through curbside pick-up. As part of its statement, GameStop is also giving employees who lost their hours paid time off and is encouraging employees not to come into work if they feel sick.

All U.S.GameStop employees have been ensured that they do not have to work if they are not comfortable and should stay home if they feel sick. Additionally, the Company has announced it will pay all U.S. 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. In addition, the Company will reimburse all benefit eligible U.S. employees, one month of the employee portion of benefit expenses.

While this is certainly a shocking swerve from GameStop's previous statements, it's good to see.

Samuel Tolbert
Freelance Writer

Samuel Tolbert is a freelance writer covering gaming news, previews, reviews, interviews and different aspects of the gaming industry, specifically focusing on Xbox and PC gaming on Windows Central. You can find him on Twitter @SamuelTolbert.