GameStop has revealed their plan to renovate their physical stores in an effort to revitalise the company’s image, and challenge the trend of slumping sales.
In order to focus on the consumer’s in store experience, GameStop has teamed up with R/GA, a design firm. The idea, GameStop says, is to create a more interactive experience for consumers when they enter a physical GameStop store.
Currently the details of how GameStop will change the layout of stores are light. However, it is known that GameStop’s intention is to change the way consumers interact with games before they purchase them. This, GameStop says, should encourage gamers to visit local GameStop branches more often, and always before purchasing a game.
Similarly to how UK retailer GAME have diversified in recent years, GameStop plans to introduce brand new store concepts, as well as proven streamlined models. One such model is eSports arenas, which will host e-Leagues for teams in the local community, and also allow gamers to come somewhere and play games with their friends on high-end machines.
Another store concept GameStop has is for purely retro locations. These stores would be built around, and sell only retro games and consoles. These are popular with consumers as they come to the age at which they have the money to purchase the consoles they couldn’t afford when they were younger.
It’s very likely that GameStop will pilot these new concept stores in the US, with an eye to bring them to other regions should they perform well. GameStop has not detailed how many of these conceptual stores will be opened, and how long they will remain open in their new state.
GameStop has previously spoken about the idea of new store concepts. In a recent interview with GamesIndustry.biz the company alluded to transitioning from a transactional retailer into an experience-based one.
Eric Bright, Vice President of Merchandising for GameStop, told the press that an 11,000 square foot performance centre has been designed, with help from eSports group complexity Gaming. The arena has a dedicated video studio, areas for merchandise to be sold, and specialized hardware for eSports competitions.