There’s likely no video game fan that hasn’t heard of GameStop, the US retailer that deals in consumer electronics and wireless services aside from video games themselves. Actually, the company has thousands of stores throughout the world, and is surely a go to place for gamers to purchase the latest video game releases.
Things have not been going so well for the US giant of late though, and has recently announced that it plans to shut down up to 3 % of its stores worldwide as reported on CNN. And given that the company operates more than 7,000 stores all over the world, this amounts to more than 200 closing their doors in the coming months – a pretty significant number by anyone’s standards.
So what prompted GameStop’s executives to take such a radical measure? Well, blame it on poor video game sales in 2016, as well as cutthroat competition in the console retail business last year. And the truth is that game sales were not as strong all-round in 2016, with even top-selling franchises like Call of Duty not doing as well as in previous years. This is a trend that appears to continue in 2017, with games like Resident Evil 7 not performing as well as many expected.
Also adding to GameStop’s woes is the fact that its shares plummeted more than 30 % to date last year, while the dramatic drop in sales of more than 10 % have led to the company announcing it will close hundreds of its stores worldwide this year.
The company’s CEO Paul Raines also attributed poor sales performance to the fact that Sony and Microsoft “haven’t updated their consoles in a while” according to CNN.
Although Sony did release the PS4 Pro in September last year, even if this wasn’t the start of a new-gen for PlayStation but rather more of an upgrade. And GameStop could get a boost in 2017, taking into account that Nintendo’s Switch will likely spark sales of video games and consoles, while Microsoft is planning to release the Xbox Scorpio later this year.
So perhaps GameStop’s fortunes might pick up this year and the future will end up looking rosier for the giant US retailer. This would no doubt be a good thing for the video game industry and video game fans too, in a year that might still have a lot to offer when it comes to gaming.