Whilst GameStop is keeping all of its stores open for the time being, they are canceling all in-store events for the foreseeable future due to the coronavirus (COVID-19). These events include midnight game launches that would usually see hundreds of people flock to their local store for an early copy of a game.
A statement sent to various press outlets explained that the company is taking measures to provide customers and partners with the safest work environments possible. These measures include disabling game demo stations, limiting the number of customers in any store at one time to ten, and in-store management ensuring that at least one meter of separation is maintained at all times between anyone on the premises. The one-meter separation is half of what is recommended by the CDC.
The statement also describes how additional cleaning practices are being implemented in all stores, particularly on high-touchpoint surfaces. He added that the company is taking some admittedly aggressive measures to obtain the cleaning products needed to ensure a safe environment. This could mean that the company is paying above normal prices for these cleaning products.
Some employees spoke on the matter, and explained that they didn’t see the measures the company is taking as enough. Lines have been limited, and not all in-store events are being canceled.
Employees even shared a memo sent to stores that showed that an in-store cleaning package wouldn’t be arriving. This is due to the supplier being unable to fulfill the order, leaving a number of stores without the supplies they need to maintain a safe environment. Hand soap would be supplied by the company, but hand sanitiser and other cleaning items need to be procured by employees, who will be reimbursed by the company.
This same memo also contradicts the statement issued by the company to the press. It describes how in-store demo stations should be left on if they have been paid for, such as Nintendo, Microsoft, or Sony stations.
Finally, the memo also recommends that any employees who know someone who has been treated as positive for coronavirus should remain at home. However, employees have explained that they have been forced to take sick leave or annual leave in these instances. They added that GameStop has no emergency sick pay procedures in place for the situation.
A number of press outlets have reached out to GameStop for comments on the contradictory statement and memo, but nothing has been said just yet. The company also has yet to comment on whether their concept stores, focused more on community interaction, will be affected differently.