GameStop closes stores to customers, offers curbside pickup amid coronavirus pandemic

GameStop is changing course.

Eli Blumenthal Senior Editor
Eli Blumenthal is a senior editor at CNET with a particular focus on covering the latest in the ever-changing worlds of telecom, streaming and sports. He previously worked as a technology reporter at USA Today.
Expertise 5G, mobile networks, wireless carriers, phones, tablets, streaming devices, streaming platforms, mobile and console gaming,
Eli Blumenthal

GameStop is switching to curbside pick-up for items as a result of coronavirus. 

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Days after defending its decision to stay open during the coronavirus pandemic by claiming it was providing "essential retail," GameStop is closing stores to customers and is instead directing them to curbside pickup or to order items online. 

"This is an unprecedented time and each day brings new information about the COVID-19 pandemic," George Sherman, GameStop's CEO, said in a press release announcing the change. "Our priority has been and continues to be on the well-being of our employees, customers and business partners."

The move is a change from a staff memo sent last week and obtained by Kotaku where the company wrote it believes "GameStop is classified as essential retail and therefore is able to remain open during this time." Last week, the company opened its doors to launch two hotly anticipated games, Doom Eternal and Animal Crossing: New Horizons, though it did push up the Doom release to Thursday to try to avoid possible crowds at its stores.

Over the weekend, Best Buy announced that it would implement curbside pick-up to avoid people entering its stores and would no longer bring large products like refrigerators or big-screen TVs into customers' homes. 

GameStop says it will pay "US employees whose hours have been eliminated an additional two weeks at their regular pay rate based on the average hours worked in the last 10 weeks" as well as "reimburse all benefit eligible US employees, one month of the employee portion of benefit expenses."

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