Business

GameStop closing up to 200 stores

Decline of video game sales blamed

Dreamstime/TNS 

Plans to close stores were outlined Tuesday, shortly after GameStop reported a second-quarter net loss of $415 million.
Dreamstime/TNS Plans to close stores were outlined Tuesday, shortly after GameStop reported a second-quarter net loss of $415 million.

CHICAGO — Acting with a sense of urgency amid falling video game sales, ubiquitous strip mall retailer GameStop is pulling the plug on up to 200 stores by early 2020 — with a much larger set of closings expected within the next two years.

The Texas-based retailer has about 3,800 stores in the United States, with two in Cedar Rapids and one each in Iowa City and Coralville.

The company did not respond to a request Wednesday to identify which stores are targeted for closing.

Plans to close stores were outlined Tuesday, shortly after GameStop reported a second-quarter net loss of $415 million, and a 14.3 percent year-over-year sales decline.

“We are committed to take quick and deliberative actions to improve the performance of the company and set it on the correct strategic path,” George Sherman, CEO of GameStop, said during an earnings call with analysts.

GameStop pointed to a 41 percent decline in gaming console sales during the second quarter as the primary negative driver, but falling sales of new and used software also weighed on results.

The company said it hopes that next-generation console launches in 2020 will rev up store sales, but it also is seeking to improve the efficiency of its retail footprint by closing “overlapping” store locations, and remodeling some remaining stores.

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In addition to closures, GameStop is launching remodeled store concepts to create “a social and cultural hub of gaming within each GameStop store,” Sherman said. The company has begun testing out “experiential offerings” in the Tulsa, Okla., market to improve profitability.

GameStop does not plan to completely remodel its chain of stores, however.

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