GameStop stores in Massachusetts have been shut down state-wide for violating stay-at-home quarantine orders, The Boston Globe reports.
As thousands of businesses close to curb coronavirus transmission, GameStop defied state orders and operated like normal, arguing it was an essential business. Corporate failed to provide necessary cleaning supplies and gloves during this period. Employees were instead told to wrap plastic GameStop bags around their hands to protect against COVID-19. "Lightly tape a Game Stop plastic bag over your hand and arm. Do not open the door all the way--keep the glass between you and the guest's face--just reach out your arm," reads a leaked email to employees instructing them how to distribute games and take credit card payments.
Luckily states have stepped in to stop this circus. GameStop stores have been shuttered in various states including California and now Massachusetts. These stores had originally been offering curb-side pickup of games, accessories and hardware.
GameStop is giving two weeks pay to all employees, and 80 hours of paid time off for those who qualify for it (usually it's only management, team leaders, and store operators that get PTO).
The retailer was in dire straits before coronavirus, but the pandemic could finally kill most of the company. The longer retailers remain shut down, the more sales they miss out on, and this actually has a chain reaction to the entire games industry that's lead to game delays. Distribution and shipping channels are also significantly disrupted, adding yet another layer to the snake's nest that is the current economic situation.
It's also possible the retail situation could force next-gen consoles like the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X to be delayed indefinitely.
GameStop has yet to report its Q4 earnings for 2019. As of Q3'19, GameStop's net losses were $83.4 million, a massive 83% reduction in its previous $488.6 million in net losses from 2018.
The longer GameStop stores remain closed, the worse its 2020 financials become. This year's losses could push the company past breaking point.