GameStop stores were forced to close around the world as lockdowns came into place in various countries due to the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). This week, the company is looking at reopening the first stores since their closure.
In a news release GameStop explained that the process of reopening stores in Italy, Germany, Austria, and the states of Georgia and North Carolina is underway. The company is also making preparations for reopening stores in other countries and states in the US.
In the US, GameStop stores have been closed since the 21st of March. While one-third of all stores are completely shut, the remaining two-thirds are accepting orders through the company’s website, offering curbside pickup.
According to GameStop representatives, the curbside pickup option has allowed the stores that are operational to meet 90 percent of the sales volume expected of them prior to the coronavirus outbreak.
Even though stores are now performing at about where the company wants them to, their sales for the nine-week period that ended on the 4th of April were down by 23 percent year-on-year. On or around the 21st of March, when stores were ordered to close, sales had been tracking above the previous year for the same period by 3 percent.
George Sherman, GameStop’s CEO, also explained some of the additional measures that the company is taking in these troubling times. Both Sherman and the board of directors are taking a 50 percent pay cut, which is a cut to Sherman’s base salary and the board of directors’ cash compensation. The rest of the leadership team within GameStop will be taking a 30 percent pay cut.
These cuts are also coming to those further down the company’s hierarchy. Certain employees will be taking a cut to pay between 10 and 30 percent. Other staff members will be offered the choice between being furloughed or working reduced hours for lower pay.
GameStop also made it clear that they are still talking to landlords about cutting rent payments, and seeking potential abatement. They cited governmental regulations in certain cities as the reason that they’ve missed some lease payments in the past.
The company is confident that they will make it through the current pandemic. As of the beginning of the month they had $772 million in total cash and liquidity, which they believe will last them through until lockdowns are lifted, and non-essential businesses can continue to operate.