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GameStop Claims It’s “Essential” and Should Stay Open During Pandemic

on March 19, 2020, 10:58pm

GameStop is claiming it’s an “essential” retail store and should remain open despite government orders to close businesses in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The retailer sent a message to store managers instructing them to keep their stores open, reports Polygon, even though it doesn’t fall under the classification of “essential” businesses like hospitals, pharmacies, grocery stores, gas stations, laundromats, or cemeteries.

According to multiple sources, the missive says that GameStop locations should remain open because it carries goods that “enable and enhance our customers’ experience in working from home.” While it’s definitely true that video games are a source of entertainment for people, and increasingly so right now, that doesn’t necessarily make GameStop an “essential” store that should remain open — especially considering that most consoles have online webstores.

“We believe that GameStop is classified as essential retail and therefore is able to remain open at this time,” the note reads. “We have received reports of local authorities visiting stores in an attempt to enforce closure despite our classification.”

The note then states that, when approached by law enforcement, store managers should give the officers a document with the following statement: “Thank you for what you are doing to keep us all safe. If you have questions about our store’s hours, operations or policies could I ask you to please call our corporate office.” Polygon tried calling the number listed in the letter and, unsurprisingly, it goes straight to voicemail.


Understandably, some GameStop employees are worried they’re being put at risk of catching coronavirus, and they’re right to feel so. Research shows the virus spreads faster than the normal flu. So as badly as customers need a copy of Red Dead Redemption 2 or Stranger Things, they could suck it up and order the game digitally online instead.

With each passing day, it becomes increasingly obvious that COVID-19 is no joke — even if some refuse to believe the global pandemic is as serious as it sounds. Coronavirus is crippling the entertainment industry, but some stars are doing their best to spread awareness, from Foals’ hand-washing PSA to Simon Pegg and Nick Frost’s Shaun of the Dead parody about social distancing.

Numerous celebrities have tested positive for coronavirus, including actor Idris Elba, Lost star Daniel Dae Kim, NBA All-Star Kevin Durant, Game of Thrones actor Kristofer Hivju, James Bond actress Olga Kurylenko, record producer Andrew Watt, Universal Music head Lucian Grainge, and our national treasure Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson.

For an up-to-date collection of the festivals, TV shows, films, concerts, and other productions that have been effected by coronavirus, head over to our updated list.