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 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.

  • I mean, plastic gloves would probably be more convenient.
  • Gloves actually spread coronavirus unless you change them after each customer. There's no way GameStop can guarantee that its employees will do that.
  • And bags wouldn't? What if the employee was the one to have it and spread it? The customer would then get it because the bag was not disposed of after the use and the customer would be touching the surface that was on the employee's hand. Gloves or bags are just a false sense of security. The only failsafe way to not get it is to not touch your face if possible and WASH YOUR HANDS! This is the case for any surface if people don't use common sense when it comes to transfer. This shouldn't be a new concept to people if you have body fluid on a hand you should wash it off. This isn't something specific to this virus.
  • Yeah I know, that's why you get a couple boxes of disposable gloves, like what food handlers use. At least I hope food handlers use them over there.
  • Manager didn't want to be named but,
    I wonder how many 24 year old managers there are in the Boston area.....