GameStop has been in the news a lot recently, as the long-running video game (and collectibles) specialty retail chain has been struggling. With declining profits, changing leadership and sinking stock prices, the future of GameStop has been a hot topic of discussion. Not long ago, GameStop’s newest CEO spoke of changing what the stores offer, particularly making them more “experience” oriented. Now, a new press release seems to be offering the first hints at what that means.
Today, GameStop announced a new partnership with R/GA, a “global design innovation firm.” In a “select market,” GameStop and R/GA will be testing out different types of store renovations, which will focus on “unique in-store experiences.” While neither the number of stores nor locations are specified, the way the press release is worded seems to suggest one “experience” per store, although that isn’t perfectly clear.
The first renovation concept is one that will change the layout of a store to include ways for customers to try games before they buy them. Another seems to imply dedicated space for competitive play, the release specifically stating, “store concepts that offer competitive sessions in home-grown e-Leagues.” Finally, the last concept mentioned in the release is a location dedicated entirely to retro games and hardware.
For the moment, it seems like GameStop is tossing a few darts on the board and seeing if any of them stick. Some of these ideas could potentially spread to multiple locations, but if you live out in the middle of nowhere you probably don’t want to get your hopes up on a retro specialty shop. On the other hand, some GameStop competitors already offer in-store game testing, which could mean it’s much less costly in comparison to set that up.
Is focusing on more in-store features the right move to make GameStop appealing as a store, or would you rather see something else? Let us know in the comments.