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GameStop claims it’s ‘essential retail’ and will stay open despite coronavirus

The video game retailer believes it falls into the same ‘essential’ category as grocery stores and pharmacies.

GameStop has sent a memo to its retail employees instructing them to keep stores open amid the coronavirus pandemic, even in the event of mandated state or local lockdowns, claiming they are “essential retail,” a label thus far reserved for things that are…well, actually essential, such as grocery stores and pharmacies.

“Due to the products we carry that enable and enhance our customers’ experience in working from home, we believe GameStop is classified as essential retail and therefore is able to remain open during the time,” reads the memo, obtained by Kotaku.

“We have received reports of local authorities visiting stores in an attempt to enforce closure despite our classification. Store Managers are approved to provide the document linked below to law enforcement as needed.”

The memo also instructs employees to tell police officers to contact GameStop’s corporate headquarters if they have any concerns.

In this uncertain time where countless businesses and companies are taking unprecedented measures to ensure public safety, GameStop’s decision to remain open and even instructing employees to defy law enforcement seems particularly callous. According to the Kotaku report, one longtime GameStop employee called the memo “indefensible.”


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