Clarion GameStop Closure a Sign of the Times

| December 7, 2020

CLARION, Pa. (EYT) – The recently announced closure of Clarion’s GameStop store seems to be more a sign of the times than a reflection of the local economy.

According to Bloomberg, GameStop has been seeing a downward trend since November 2013, shortly before the last generation of consoles went on sale.

Despite the writing on the wall, GameStop forged ahead and continued to add nearly 900 new retail locations – a strategy that seems to have backfired, as the company is expected to close around 450 locations this year.

An unofficial list of GameStop store closures planned for December 2020 through January 2021 lists two other Pennsylvania stores along with Clarion, one in Lancaster and another in the Monroeville Mall.

A date for the closures has not yet been announced.

The remaining stores in our region include the stores at the DuBois Mall, Hilltop Plaza in Kittanning, Butler Commons, Union Square in New Castle, Hermitage Crossing, Conneaut Lake Road in Meadville, and Warren Commons.

According to GameStop CEO George Sherman, the store closures have to do with “optimizing the balance of retail footprint and e-commerce reach,” as the era of digital sales continues takes over.

PC Magazine noted that GameStop closed 321 “underperforming” stores, including the store in the Cranberry Mall, in 2019, and announced another 300 store closures in March of 2020.

According to CNN, while GameStop’s online sales increased by 800 percent in the company’s second quarter, their revenue still came in below analysis’ expectations, causing them to increase the number of store closures from 300 to nearly 450, with more closures expected in 2021.

Despite the closures, the company, which is headquartered in Grapevine, Texas, remains the world’s largest video game retailer, operating over 5,000 stores across 10 countries.

In October, the company also announced a multi-year strategic partnership with Microsoft to expand its physical and digital video game offerings and enhance its retail technology infrastructure. Through the partnership, GameStop plans to standardize its business operations on Microsoft’s cloud solutions and hardware products.

This strategy is intended to allow GameStop to deliver rich new digital experiences to customers, creating the “ultimate gaming destination” for gamers in its vision to be the premier omni-channel customer access point for video game products.

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