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GameStop won't close stores during pandemic

Person Holding Sony Ps4 Controller

US-based video game retailer GameStop allegedly sent out a company-wide memo today addressing its response to the coronavirus pandemic currently gripping the world. In the memo, the company allegedly says it will not close its retail locations, despite various government mandates pushing it to do so.

According to Kotaku, which saw the alleged memo first hand, GameStop describes its shops as “essential retail,” akin to something like a pharmacy, grocery store, or other storefronts that must remain open during circumstances such as these.

The memo allegedly even goes so far as to instruct employees to tell inquiring law enforcement to contact GamesStop’s corporate headquarters if there are any issues with this policy.

To be clear, GameStop just sells video games, consoles, toys, and other merchandise related to gaming. These would hardly fall under the “essential retail” category of something like a grocery store.

Related: The best games on Google Stadia: Who needs hardware?

Previously, GameStop employees speaking with Kotaku expressed concerns with the company’s lax response to the pandemic. However, that was before this memo, which is clearly putting the welfare of the company above the safety of its staff.

Here in the US, restaurants, bars, movie theaters, performance venues, and other food and entertainment facilities have all either completely shut down or moved to an adjusted business model in response to the crisis. Some of the changes are mandated by local and federal governments, while others have been self-directed.

For what its worth, GameStop’s financial situation is not great, so the company may fear that closing stores could cause it to go out of business permanently. However, there are other ways to deal with that besides putting retail workers at risk of contracting the virus and passing it on to others.

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