After I published my YouTube video explaining my opinion on GameStop staying open during this difficult time in our country, a GameStop employee reached out to me for an interview on the condition that he remain anonymous, and with the following disclaimer: “These are my opinions, and I'm not speaking as a representative of a GameStop store or the GameStop corporation.
Without further ado, here’s that interview.
GAMESTOP EMPLOYEE: We were told that, starting tomorrow, we will condense our hours to being open from 12-8 each day.
WEISS: What are some of the things they’ve told you to do to keep safe?
EMPLOYEE: We’re basically following CDC guidelines. We are only letting 10 people in the store at a time, including the staff. They've given us extra hours to use so we can have someone work as basically a bouncer to control the flow of people coming into the store. We also stopped taking in trade. This probably won’t have much effect on not spreading the virus from just not having the items come in, but it does limit the traffic into the store and keeps people there for much shorter amounts of time.
WEISS: Have they supplied you with things you need to keep you and your customers safe? If so, what?
EMPLOYEE: As far as sanitation supplies, this is probably the one negative thing I've seen on social media that is true. They allotted each store money to buy disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer, but have left us to figure out how to get it ourselves. We now have a timer that goes off every 30 minutes to remind us to wash our hands and sanitize the credit card machines, counters, and door handles.
WEISS: How is business? What have customers said about you guys staying open?
EMPLOYEE: Business is crazy. My store was projected to do $4000 in business for the day due to Animal Crossing and DOOM launches, and we had done $7000 by the time I left with eight hours still to go until closing. We have sold out of almost every game console we have. Customers in general have been extremely positive. I've had a couple ask me what will happen to their $5 pro membership rewards they get each month if we close for an extended period of time, but I haven't been given anything from higher to tell them other than we don't currently expect to close down. No one has openly criticized us in the store for being open, but I suppose that would make them look pretty hypocritical for being there shopping
WEISS: Anything else you care to share about GameStop staying open during this time?
EMPLOYEE: I'd just like to add that I don't know corporate’s true intentions for us staying open. I'm sure it's based partially off of fear that s prolonged closing could be the death blow to the company. With that being said, I personally feel like I'm providing an essential service. I know this might sound crazy, but mental health is almost as important as physical health during times like this, and as you know video games do a lot in that regard for a whole lot of people. I served 10 years in the army, and I get a similar feeling from being able to do this as I did from protecting people while serving overseas. I also don't get the impression that anyone would get fired if they said they didn't feel comfortable coming to work. That's just my opinion about my particular store, though. Could be completely different elsewhere
WEISS: Great stuff, I really appreciate it. Any closing remarks you’d like to make?
EMPLOYEE: I think that memo that leaked could have been worded much better. Personally, I would have put that out over a conference call. I think it's a bit too important and damaging to just send as an email. We do sell webcams, mice, and keyboards, so there is some truth to the part about helping with those that are telecommuting to work. Though I think that would be a tough sell from a legal standpoint, given the fact that those items don't even make up 1% of our total revenue.