GameStop has often been a punching bag in the gaming industry for its questionable practices in its treatment of employees. Further, it has been part of a recent history of reports on its poor performance in terms of sales and business. There are other minor quibbles to be had with the retailer, including its trade-in system. In the end, GameStop deserves its share of criticism, and certainly for the way it treats its employees.
A number of recent reports have detailed the way GameStop has handled the employees working for the company. In a number of interviews, GameStop employees discussed the mandatory scripts that have to be followed by employees in order to sell products and games. They discussed the plentiful sales targets that the company has posed to compensate for the drying-up of the market for physical game copies.
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As it stood, these sales targets had apparently been somewhat unrealistic. However, when GameStop stores were open during the novel coronavirus pandemic, the sales targets were especially tough to reach. Yet, just because the GameStop employees had been trying to reach these sales targets, this doesn’t mean they represent the company in any tangible way. To think anything else is wrong and leaves GameStop employees open to undue criticism.
For better or worse, for the health and safety of employees and consumers alike, GameStop has decided to shut its doors amid the COVID-19 crisis currently ensuing. Controversially, the company had denied that it was “non-essential” and claimed itself as “essential,” though the reality points in the other direction. While we don’t know how the shutdown will affect the company, it can’t be great for the employees who may now lose out on an indeterminable number of paychecks — even if it’s to protect consumers and employees from the novel coronavirus.
At the end of the day, while GameStop leadership deserves its criticism, it isn’t right to cheer on its downfall. There are employees who make a living by working for the retailer and to cheer on its demise would mean the end of the employees’ livelihoods. All we can hope for is a brighter, less demanding future for the company.
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