GameStop has been undergoing financial turmoil for a number of years now and over time, the company’s employees have repeatedly accused its management of setting aggressive sales targets to combat the issue. Although the retailer made changes to its infamous “Circle of Life” program following controversy, former and current employees have told Polygon that GameStop’s management is continuing to pressure workers with unrealistic targets out of “sheer desperation.” Employees that fail to meet the targets are being “written up.”
“I’ve seen a change in the sheer desperation the company has towards its profit margins,” said a store manager. “The company is frantic and distrustful,” added an assistant manager. “You can feel it in every message they send. The structure is falling apart and they’re scrambling.”
Another assistant manager revealed that GameStop is pushing tech trades (phones and tablets) in response to dwindling video game sales. Polygon managed to get a hold of “target sheets” that store managers have been filling out, which show how many customers they have given used phone purchase quotes to, and how many of those have led to an actual transaction.
“I would rather not ask every customer what kind of phone they have, who their carrier is, and how much memory is on the device in order to quote them while they’re in the store looking for a game,” said an employee.
One manager told Polygon that things became a little bit better after the Circle of Life fiasco ended but the change only lasted a few months before GameStop reverted back to its old ways of hounding customers. Another manager who recently resigned revealed that employees are required to collect contact information from 10 customers a day so that the retailer can pitch various services to them later.
Some GameStop employees have expressed their frustration over the impact of negative media reports about the company, which they reveal have led to customers often subjecting them to rude and abusive behavior.
“They [the upper management] don’t listen to the employees,” one of them concluded. “We need managers who have actually worked in the stores who listen to the store managers.”
Polygon’s full report is quite detailed and contains information gathered from dozens of interviews so make sure to check it out.