GameStop, the gaming merchandise retailer operating 5,830 retail stores globally, has instructed all of its stores to remain open even if cities or states are locked down to protect the public against the COVID-19 outbreak. The company views itself as an "essential retail" business and believes that it should remain open alongside groceries and pharmacies if there are government-imposed lockdowns. In a memo sent to staff yesterday, obtained by Kotaku, the retailer said:
Due to the products we carry that enable and enhance our customers’ experience in working from home, we believe GameStop is classified as essential retail and therefore is able to remain open during this time. We have received reports of local authorities visiting stores in an attempt to enforce closure despite our classification. Store Managers are approved to provide the document linked below to law enforcement as needed.
If law-enforcement authorities have any issues with the policy, the document in question urges them to contact the company's corporate headquarters. The retailer also announced reduced working hours, deferring all events indefinitely, and holding off used game trade-ins until March 29.
We are working diligently during this unprecedented time to provide our customers & associates with the safest environment possible. Please see below for details on new changes we are enacting & click here for our full statement: https://t.co/qP9jDQUmjs pic.twitter.com/d99kxviz7Q— GameStop (@GameStop) March 19, 2020
In the wake of the company's response to COVID-19, employees across the U.S. are worried as they believe "little to no measures" have been taken to prevent further deterioration of the situation.