Gamestop has been the corner store of gaming since its humble roots in 1984 as Babbage’s in Tucson, Arizona to the current 5,830 stores worldwide. But concerns are rising as the gaming industry transitions from hard copies to direct downloads. The next gen of consoles are focused on streaming games from their servers to your home. So what is Gamestop to do in these changing times?
First stop is changing the store environment completely. The current stores have walls lined with games for every console, inner shelves with collectibles, and a demo area to try out the latest in gaming. Gamestop is testing a new store layout that will be more immersive and creative. There will be more areas to demo games of a wider variety. There is also going to be event areas in some for eSports while other will be tailored for retro gaming. The new store will try to create an experience, inviting customers into the gaming life. These pilot stores are apart of the Gamestop 2.0 plan and will be scattered throughout the U.S.
Next stop is the PowerUp Rewards Program. Previously this program gave a discount on used products and an issue of Game Informer Magazine every month (only reason I ever got it). The most notable benefit in the new Pro-level plan is a $5 coupon every month that will be replacing the 10% discount on used products. The 5$ coupon can be used on anything in the store except pre-orders and gift cards. There will also be Pro-member only events. Little information about what these will be but they would pair well with the new store designs. Another change is the price, previously set at $14.99 a month the new plan is the same price for the DIGITAL version of Game Informer Magazine only with a new price of $19.99 for the physical monthly magazine.
Lastly, Frank Hamlin told Comicbook.com that they were planning a “unique experience” around the new consoles that will give consumers more chances to try before they buy. They are also pushing the trade in program as an insensitive to help with your next big console purchase.
This is the best year for Gamestop to make a big move with new consoles on the horizon. If the company is to be saved, it will be done now.
GameStop has just added three new members to the Board of Directors. William Simon who is the former CEO of Walmart. Reggie Fils-Aim from Nintendo of America. And JK Symanck, the CEO of PetSmart.