GameStop Stores Stay Open, Company Says It's "Essential Retail"

GameStop stores remain open despite coronavirus pandemic

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Video game retailer GameStop continues to operate stores nationwide despite the fact that many other retail locations are closed in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus, claiming that it is “essential retail.”

The company said in a statement Thursday it is reducing its operational hours from 12-8 p.m. until March 29. It also said that only 10 customers will be allowed in any store at a given time.

GameStop sent a note to employees and managers asking them to remain open even if law enforcement requests they close — according to Vice, which said it viewed copies of the memo. GameStop did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s requests to view the memo and for comment.

GameStop’s memo, according to Vice, says that “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. 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.”

GameStop drew criticism on social media earlier in the week for its handling of the virus outbreak. Website Kotaku reported Monday that the game seller’s corporate office wasn’t providing adequate materials to sanitize their stores and instead leaving it up to individual local managers to purchase supplies.

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