Remember when a trip to your neighborhood GameStop made your whole day? That happy pastime will end for some, since the electronic entertainment giant is planning to close 120 to 130 stores worldwide.
The gaming retailer’s plan is to shut down a number of its 6,457 global locations and enter a new era where it will focus more on mobile gaming and open hundreds of Apple-related and mobile retail stores, Spring Mobile and Simply Mac.
GameStop (NYSE:GME) plans to shutter the locations by the end of its fiscal year, which is May 31. Though 120 to 130 stores make up only about 2 percent of the total, CEO Paul Raines is calling the renovation “GameStop 3.0,” a “new phase of the company’s lifespan that will see it aggressively expand its footprint into gaming-adjacent tech fields.”
Raines made the announcement during GameStop’s 2014 Investor Day on April 22.
This may be a smart move for the 30-year-old company, which was founded in 1984 as Babbage’s and is now based in Grapevine, Texas. NYC-based market research company eMarketer projects that smartphone users will reach 1.75 billion this year, which is nearly 25 percent of the entire global population.
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“The global smartphone audience surpassed the 1 billion mark in 2012 and will total 1.75 billion in 2014. eMarketer expects smartphone adoption to continue on a fast-paced trajectory through 2017,” the company said on Jan. 16. “Nearly two-fifths of all mobile phone users — close to one-quarter of the worldwide population — will use a smartphone at least monthly in 2014. By the end of the forecast period, smartphone penetration among mobile phone users globally will near 50 percent.”
With the popularity of mobile games like “Candy Crush” and “Angry Birds,” it’s a strategic move for an international gaming chain to focus more on smartphone and tablet forms of digital entertainment.
Do you think GameStop is making a smart move? Comment below.