GameStop is doing what it can in order stay open during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a memo to employees, GameStop has labeled itself as "essential retail" in order to keep from being closed during the coronavirus outbreak. All of its stores were told to stay open even in the event of a state or city lockdown.
"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," states a memo for staff that was obtained by Kotaku.
"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."
In some areas across the country, all non-essential stores have been called to be closed. Essential services include food, medicine, gas, utilities and hardware stores. All other types of businesses are being told to be closed.
Even though GameStop store fronts are being told to stay open, they have instituted measures to reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19 (via Polygon). Only 10 customers are allowed into a store at a time, with 6-foot parameters between customers in check-out lines being implemented. Store hours are going to be reduced, and all gaming events and midnight releases have been cancelled for the time being. All interactive gaming stations in stores have been deactivated, and the company has temporarily suspended video game and consumer electronic trade-in practices.
While GameStop is implementing these policies, the retailer is still being criticized for its poor handling of the coronavirus pandemic. According to Vice, the company has not been able to provide adequate cleaning supplies for employees, instead asking them to seek out these supplies at local stores themselves. Employees have not been given extended sick leave, and are being asked to rely on their existing time off options instead.
The first two midnight launches that have been cancelled by GameStop were for DOOM Eternal and Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Instead, the company released DOOM early in order to help minimize customer interaction.