GameStop Backpedals On 'Essential Retail' Claim And Will Close All Storefronts

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GameStop has changed its mind on labeling itself "essential retail," and has announced that as of tomorrow, all of its stores that are still open will switch to a "delivery of the door" service. Notification of the change came from GameStop CEO George Sherman yesterday in a letter that was sent out to employees. The way GameStop intends to conduct business from now on is by allowing shoppers to order games online using the GameStop app or using QR codes at stores.

Customers will be able to pick the games up curbside at stores that remain open during the coronavirus pandemic. In some states, GameStop has been forced to shut down locations entirely, such as California and Nevada. The struggling video game retailer has also promised in the letter from the CEO that employees at closed or closing stores who are eligible will be able to get 80 hours of extra paid time off. Those who aren't eligible for paid time off will get an additional two weeks of pay.

The CEO letter also told employees who don't feel comfortable going to work at stores doing delivery should tell supervisors and that the company would "respect that everyone has personal situations and preferences." The CEO promised that the employee's decision wouldn't impact their position with the company. GameStop has caught heavy flak over its decision to label itself as "essential retail" and remain open during the coronavirus pandemic. That designation is usually reserved for locations like gas stations, supermarkets and drug stores (among others).

Early on, GameStop workers complained that not only was the company slow to react to the coronavirus outbreak, but that the company didn't provide them with adequate cleaning and sanitizing supplies to keep the stores virus free.