With the success of the current generation lineup of consoles, the next few years are poised for an increase in the value of the console gaming space. GameStop is prepared to benefit greatly, but the company is also beginning to invest in other avenues of business as well.
During a presentation at GameStop’s 2014 Investor Day, CEO Paul Raines spoke of what he called “GameStop 3.0”, which involves phasing into other tech fields in addition to gaming. The two key fields GameStop is pursuing at the moment are mobile and Apple devices, which is evident by their offerings through stores in recent years. GameStop is looking beyond that by focusing on stand-alone stores to offer these products, namely Spring Mobile and Simply Mac.
Both chains will be expanding by around 200%, with Spring expanding its 164 stores by adding 200 – 250 new locations and Simply Mac adding 20 – 25 more stores to the current 23 in areas unserved by Apple’s official retail chain. Alongside this, GameStop will also by opening another 100 to 150 Cricket locations, potentially quintupling its current 31 stores.
With this expansion, however, GameStop will be scaling back its own gaming stores, with somewhere 120 and 130 of its 6,457 stores closing their doors. No specific locations were given, but it would logically include locations where the gaming market is heavily saturated by GameStop.
Although GameStop’s focus is adjusting to accommodate for other tech fields, it’s not unprecedented. With the expansion of digital and mobile games, the need for a brick-and-mortar store may be passing. Even if GameStop’s gaming side moves strictly to digital, or even ceases to exist, there are plenty of other companies that are able to compete.