GameStop’s Circle of Life Program Discourages Employees From Selling New
If you’re being told that new items are out of stock more often at GameStop there is a reason why. According to a Kotaku report, it’s due to a new internal program that the retailer calls the Circle of Life. The retailer is prioritizing used sales, and wants a large percentage of a store’s game sales to come from used items. This has led to employees lying to customers, and telling them that new games and consoles were out of stock in order to get them to buy used instead.
Here’s how Kotaku‘s Jason Schreier describes the Circle of Life program:
The program, called “Circle of Life,” gives each GameStop store different percentage quotas for 1) pre-orders; 2) reward card subscriptions; 3) used game sales; and 4) game trade-ins. Each of these quotas is based on the store’s total transactions. Pre-orders and reward cards subscriptions are based on the number of transactions, while used game sales and trade-ins are based on the total dollar value of transactions. If a store’s quota for used game sales is 30%, and the store sells $1,000 worth of merchandise, GameStop expects at least $300 of that merchandise to be pre-owned.
One GameStop employee admitted to lying to customers. “We are telling people we don’t have new systems in stock so we won’t take a $300 or $400 dollar hit on our pre-owned numbers,” said the anonymous employee to Kotaku. “This is company wide and in discussions with my peers it is a common practice. We also tell customers we don’t have copies of new games in stock when they are on sale—for example, Watch Dogs 2 is currently $29.99 new and $54.99 pre-owned. We just tell them we don’t have the new one in stock and shuffle them out the door.”
There’s a lot more details over at the full report, but this clearly isn’t giving “power to the players.” Only time will tell if GameStop’s business practices will backfire, and it’s up to consumers to decide if they will continue to give them their business.