In a gob-smacking move the video game retail chain GameStop has decreed that their shops are an “essential service” and therefore must remain open during the cornavirus crisis.
“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,” the retailer said in a memo which 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.”
The document mentioned tells the police to contact GameStop’s head office.
This is, of course, utterly ridiculous. Video games are not essential items, and even if they were all consoles and PCs have digital store fronts where players can purchase a game without going near another human being.
GameStop have put in some measures, such as stopping trade ins and keep people in a queue at a safe distance, but employees say these are not being followed.
“Thus far I’ve seen little to no measures taken from corporate, and I’ve certainly haven’t seen any supplies to prevent further outbreak,” and anonymous GameStop supervisor told Kotaku. “My colleagues and I are sharing a small bottle of hand sanitizer that was purchased through our own pockets as well as making as much usage out of a depleting bottle of All Purpose Cleaner. We were only just given permission to turn off console demos yesterday and my cleaning supplies have been back ordered for two months. As far as more immediate measures go, the stores in my area have received nothing.”
Over the UK our large retail chain GAME is… well, doing nothing as far as I can see. There’s nothing on their website, no tweets about the epidemic, nothing.