GameStop employees question decision to stay open amid COVID-19 crisis

Employees cite the safety risks in remaining open.

In response to quarantine measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, retailers across the country are slashing hours or shutting down for weeks at a time. GameStop has not yet made a corporate decision to shutter stores for the duration of this pandemic, instead choosing to remain open and ramp up sanitation efforts.

“We’ve had the best sales days we’ve seen in months, so of course corporate wants us to stay open,” says one Redditor.

Many states have requested that “non-essential” businesses close, and many are surprised to know that their local video game store would be open. “The state of Pennsylvania closed all “non-essential” stores, which I assumed must include Game Stop but no I was wrong,” said Twitter user @girlziplocked. 

message on the GameStop website says that stores have been provided with disinfectant and hand sanitizer to help maintain a safe environment. Still, several employees say this is not the case. “The stores are a literal petri dish of high touch surfaces and many stores haven’t received any kind of sanitizer,” says an anonymous GameStop employee

The message from corporate goes on to say that employees are encouraged to stay home if they’re experiencing any flu-like symptoms but does not elaborate on whether or not additional paid time is being offered for those who cannot work.

Employees at some stores report difficulty taking time off. “I asked to use my PTO because my mom has 2 pre-existing conditions and I was told I was selfish and I would not be getting it.”

To reduce crowding at their stores, GameStop has moved the launch day for Doom: Eternal up one day to March 19. Animal Crossing: New Horizons will launch on March 20, as planned.