GameStop Says Work From Home Products – Not Just Video Games – Makes Them ‘Essential Retail’

“While there are many businesses and organizations far more critical than ours, we believe we can have a positive impact during this very challenging time,” company says in new statement Friday

Last Updated: March 20, 2020 @ 8:11 AM

Video game retailer GameStop responded further to a report that claimed the company is “essential retail” during the closures brought about by coronavirus, saying that it sells more than video games and offers necessary products that will allow people to work from home and learn virtually.

On Friday, GameStop issued a new statement further defending its position, saying that the store also sells products that facilitate working from home, virtual learning and online communication.

While GameStop is best known as a provider of gaming and home entertainment systems, we also offer a wide array of products and devices that are important to facilitate remote work, distance learning, and virtual connectivity. As millions of Americans face unprecedented challenges adapting to virtual learning, working and interaction, there is significant need for technology solutions and we are one of many providers of these products that are remaining open at this time. Schools, businesses and families are now suddenly dependent on being able to connect through technology. While there are many businesses and organizations far more critical than ours, we believe we can have a positive impact during this very challenging time. The health and safety of our employees and customers is of utmost importance and we have and will continue to take extensive precautions consistent with CDC guidelines. We are complying with all state, county, city and local ordinances and we will continue to adjust to any future developments.

Earlier in the week, Vice reported that GameStop sent a note to employees and managers asking them to remain open even if law enforcement requests they close. GameStop did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s requests to view the memo and for comment.

The company said in a statement Thursday that it believed it should be classified as “essential retail” and it would be reducing its operational hours from 12-8 p.m. until Mar. 29. It also said that only 10 customers will be allowed in any store at a given time.

GameStop’s memo, according to Vice, says that “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.”

GameStop drew criticism on social media earlier in the week for its handling of the virus outbreak. Website Kotaku reported Monday that the game seller’s corporate office wasn’t providing adequate materials to sanitize their stores and instead leaving it up to individual local managers to purchase supplies.

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