GameStop told employees to wrap hands with plastic bags amid coronavirus outbreak

GameStop (Image credit: GameStop)

What you need to know

  • GameStop is having a hard time sustaining its business lately.
  • This is due to the rise in digital distribution.
  • GameStop kept stores open on Friday and told employees to use plastic bags as gloves, essentially.
  • The company is classified as a non-essential service and should be closed in Massachusetts.

It's no secret that GameStop has been struggling for years now. The trend towards digital distribution is slowly killing the retailer and it looks like it wants to do anything it can to prevent it from being shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic.

According to a rather shocking report in the Boston Globe, GameStop sent employees back to work on Friday and told them to wrap their hands with plastic bags when dealing with customers through the door. You can read an excerpt from the report below.

This is how far a business is willing to go to generate revenue during the coronavirus pandemic. GameStop, the video game retailer, sent employees in Massachusetts back to work on Friday — despite the statewide order shutting down all nonessential businesses. But instead of allowing customers inside, the store is doing curbside pickup, and employees have been given a set of specific and highly unusual instructions to let people pay at the door, according to a manager at a local store. Workers have been told to wrap a plastic bag around one hand to protect it from exposure to the virus, open the door a crack, and take the customer's credit card, the manager said. Employees are then to run the card with a hand still encased in the bag, flip the bag inside out, leaving the card inside, put the purchase in the bag, and hand it back through the door.

Now, we all know that April 1 is approaching so you may be wondering if this is an elaborate hoax or joke. Well, it's not. The Boston Globe confirmed that this was indeed real.

The instructions e-mailed from a district leader to managers on Monday almost seemed like a prank, said the 24-year-old manager, who asked to remain anonymous because he feared retaliation.

No matter what GameStop says, it's not an "essential service" because people can always buy digital games through the comfort of their own homes. It's unclear how this will be resolved because GameStop appears to be defying government orders. It's likely that the retailer will be fined for numerous violations.

Asher Madan

Asher Madan handles gaming news for Windows Central. Before joining Windows Central in 2017, Asher worked for a number of different gaming outlets. He has a background in medical science and is passionate about all forms of entertainment, cooking, and antiquing.