Despite miraculously turning a Q4 profit, GameStop will be shuttering hundreds of its retail stores throughout the world in 2020. The plan was announced during the company’s fourth quarter 2019 earnings call today by Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Jim Bell.
“We continue to focus on optimizing our global store fleet in fiscal 2019 and closed a net total of 321 stores inclusive of 333 closings and 12 openings,” said Bell. “In fiscal 2020, we will continue in our efforts to de-densify our store base, focused on maximizing product productivity of the entire fleet.”
“In 2020, we will continue our work to de-densify our global store fleet and anticipate store closures to be equal to or more than 320 net closures we saw in fiscal 2019 on a global basis,” Bell specified. “Importantly, we want to emphasize that these store closures are a very specific and proactive part of our de-densification plan and they are not related to recent business trends.”
Bell also mentioned that COVID-19 had – to the chagrin of its employees, who were forced to work during a pandemic – resulted in a sales boost for the company.
“Despite having most of our European stores closed for the last few weeks, the increased demand for our products across the world has led to a positive 2% comparable sales results for the March month-to-date period through Saturday,” said Bell. “Every day brings a new challenge and new information as we navigate this very dynamic environment brought on by COVID-19.”