Although in the middle of the crisis over the coronavirus that many entertainment facilities are required to shut down, GameStop is recommending the retail stores to keep opening.
“GameStop is working diligently during this unprecedented time to provide our customers and associates with the safest environment possible,”
“We are implementing changes to our retail operations so that we may continue to provide essential products to our customers that allows them to stay connected, and provide products that allows business and consumers to work remotely.”the company said.
In order to “instituting multiple social distancing practices”, GameStop will allow 10 people in at a time; reducing its store hours; implement a delivery-at-door service so customers can pick up orders at the front doors of the retail location; postponing trade-ins until March 29th; shuttering all events and midnight launches, and disabling all in-store game stations.
While other brands instruct their employees to work from home, GameStop claims that they are “providing all our stores with the necessary supply of disinfectant materials and hand sanitizer”. Furthermore, employees are allowed to remain home only “if they are sick and are experiencing any flu-like symptoms.”
Essential government services include transit, police, fire, health care services, grocery markets, pharmacies, banks, and gas stations.
The memo, which acknowledges that local authorities have attempted to enforce the closure, adds that “Store Managers are approved to provide the document [to contact corporate] to law enforcement as needed.” GameStop hasn’t given any notice by the time of publishing. The Verge has confirmed that this includes San Francisco, which became the first US city to enact a shelter-in-place order and mandate the closing of all nonessential businesses earlier this week.
A local GameStop store in the city confirmed that the retailer would remain open in the coming days, although on a slightly adjusted schedule that has the store opening later in the day at 12PM local time and staying open until 6PM.
As reported, many GameStop employees feel unsupported and unsafe at this difficult time. “I had a region call and a district call today. Both showed very little care for the employees,” It appears that GameSpot’s priority now is on sales. Although the company has shut down many midnight launches, it has insisted on store opening throughout state-mandated closures. However, the company’s employees criticized Gamespot for not giving enough promised cleaning supplies or sanitize the stores.
In San Francisco, Mayor London Breed has enforced more drastic measures to keep COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus, from spreading. On March 16th, the city announced a public health order that requires all residents to remain inside “with the only exception being for essential needs.” The order will remain effective until April 7th or until it’s extended at a later date.
Officials in states like New York have also been eyeing a similar order. In the past few days, cities, including New York, Los Angeles, and Seattle, have closed bars and restaurants to the general public and are operating only through take-out or delivery.