The new design of GameStop stores was leaked on Facebook about a week ago. The video, which can be seen below, shows off a store more focused on retro games and tabletop games than the former design, with an emphasis on GameStop as a community gathering place for gamers.
The video comes from a store in Pryor, Oklahoma. According to IGN, not all new stores will feature this new redesign. Some stores will be focused on esports, while others will retain a design closer to the pre-existing one. This is consistent with a leak reported on by the YouTuber Camelot331, which we've previously written about.
The new store looks to have a more open design, with merch more readily available and retro gaming consoles with CRT TVs at the ready. There's also a sofa and a flat-screen right in the middle of the store.
It's too early to say if the new model will turn things around, but a dramatic shift of some kind was certainly needed. GameStop has been suffering from financial issues for years, with online stores and digital marketplaces like Amazon and Steam cutting into their market share. Furthermore, many fans have become jaded by GameStop's tendency to overcharge for used games and push other services on a customer at checkout. By offering a friendly atmosphere where gamers can come relax and chat with one another, they're at least offering something that online stores can't.
This news comes after the closure of 200 stores, and a quarter two loss of $32 million. GameStop also laid off much of their middle management, including several Game Informer employees.
The earlier leak by Camelot331 suggested that GameStop's eventual plan is to shut down over 4,000 locations by the end of 2019, but at this point that seems a little ambitious. Still, digital sales are only going to rise, and with limited storage space on a disc physical media may be going the way of the dinosaur.
It remains to be seen just how many stores will undergo a redesign, but we wonder if it will be enough. If the redesigned stores get more bodies inside GameStop, we'll likely see more stores undergo renovation in the future.