GameStop Corp. today released financial results on the company’s new Investor Relations platform for the second quarter ended July 31, 2021.

The gaming retailer published condensed and consolidated financial statements for the quarter.

The Company’s Form 10-Q and supplemental information can be found at GameStop’s Investor Relations.

SECOND QUARTER OVERVIEW

Generated net sales of $1.183 billion, compared to $942 million in the prior year’s second quarter.

Ended the period with cash and restricted cash of $1.78 billion.

Ended the period with no long-term debt, other than a $47.5 million low-interest loan associated with the French government’s pandemic response.

Invested in long-term growth initiatives that include expanding the Company’s product catalog, enhancing its fulfillment network capabilities and technology, and adding talent across the organization.

Entered into a lease of a new 530,000 square foot fulfillment center in Reno, Nevada, positioning the Company’s fulfillment network to span both coasts of the continental U.S.

Entered into a lease of a new customer care center in Pembroke Pines, Florida and started building out U.S.-based customer care operations.

THE RELEASE

GameStop’s Earnings Release can be found here:

GameStop News Room, September 08 2021

GameStop’s Q2 2021 Earnings Call can be heard here:

Q2 2021 Gamestop Corp. Earnings Conference Call (YouTube, Webcast)

GameStop’s Form 10-Q can be found here: 

COMMISSION FILE NO. 1-32637   (HTML, IXBRL, RTF, PDF, XLS, XRBL)

Source: GameStop News Room

GameStop’s Group Director of eCommerce Engineering has made a bold claim while searching for candidates to fill never-ending positions at the transforming gaming retailer.

GameStop has been undergoing a behind-the-scenes tech-centric transformation, largely revealed by hoards of new talent brought on after the January agreement with Ryan Cohen’s firm RC Ventures.

another new guy

Mike Angstadt has only been a member of GameStop’s corporate team since early August, but already seems in-the-know to what’s coming next for the aspiring tech company.

The self-proclaimed builder, leader, and innovator is based in Austin Texas and now holds the position of Group Director of eCommerce Engineering at GameStop.

Angstadt describes his supportive role in one sentence via LinkedIn:

Supporting the eCommerce Engineering teams at GameStop through our revolution of the gaming industry.

Mike Angstadt’s job description as of August 25th, 2021.

In an August 23rd post on the social media platform, Angstadt stated that GameStop was looking to hire for a rapidly growing all-star team at GameStop eCommerce, implying that GameStop has started an internal division just for eCommerce initiatives.

The Group Director of eCommerce Engineering goes as far as to state that GameStop is engineering the revolution of gaming.

Mike Angstadt’s LinkedIn post from August 23rd.

What’s the job?

The position that Mike Angstadt is recruiting for is available fully-remote, enabling great engineers to apply to work for GameStop no matter their location.

The job description makes several requests that applicants are to place emphasis on customer experiences, such as:

  • Thrive in an ambiguous environment, be resourceful, and make tradeoffs to deliver customer impact.
  • Exhibit a bias for action, constantly looking for ways to improve performance and customer experience.
  • Be results-oriented, data-driven, and passionate about building innovative customer experiences.

The Software Engineer, Ecom Platform job posting from GameStop.

Interestingly, GameStop also asks that applicants have the ability to thrive in a fast-paced, startup-like environment.

  • Ability to thrive in a fast-paced, startup-like, agile development environment.

In May, GMEdd proclaimed that GameStop’s success in acquiring new talent is at a rate that can be compared only to the likes of the hottest new startup.

The frenzy continues

Since then, GameStop has continued the recruiting frenzy, amassing over 130 distinguished hires to gear up for a groundbreaking transformation.

GMEdd’s GameStop August 26th Tech Hire Database.

There doesn’t seem to be any brakes on this train, with new hires being unveiled on LinkedIn almost daily. 

While Ryan Cohen has no known plans to publicize his roadmap moving forward, sleuthing around on LinkedIn remains the best way to make educated guesses as to what comes next for GameStop.

To stay up to date on the latest tech hires, visit GMEdd.com’s Report and Models page.

Source: Mike Angstadt on LinkedIn

GameStop Corp., today announced that it will report second quarter fiscal 2021 earnings results after the market closes on Wednesday, September 8, 2021.

The gaming retailer in the midst of transformation will host an investor conference call at 5:00 pm ET on the same day to review the company’s financial results. This call and any supplemental information can be accessed at GameStop’s investor relations home page.

Where to tune in

The phone number for the investor conference call is 877-451-6152 and the confirmation code is 13722703. The conference call will be archived for two months on GameStop’s corporate website.

GMEdd.com has hosted livestreams for prior conference calls, as viewership often surpasses what GameStop’s systems can handle.

We advise all GameStop investors follow @GMEdd on Twitter for updates.

The significance

This will mark the first earnings call since the departure of former CEO George Sherman, so a change of pace is to be expected.

While Ryan Cohen announced at the Annual Shareholder’s Meeting that he does not plan to talk a big game, investors will anticipate some direction from the gaming retailer under new leadership.

The newly instated CEO Matt Furlong, a former Amazon executive, will likely speak during the majority of the conference call, if tradition continues.

Source: GameStop News Room

With previously outgoing executives closing brick-and-mortar stores and new leadership directing a technology-based transformation, the fate of GameStop’s own Game Informer was left uncertain.

Game Informer is a monthly video game magazine featuring articles, news, strategy, and reviews of video games and associated consoles.

The Game Informer Show was started in September of 2009 as a weekly gaming podcast covering the latest video game news, industry topics, exclusive reveals, and reviews.

The History

The Game Informer publication debuted 30 years ago, in August 1991, when the video game retailer FuncoLand started publishing an in-house newsletter.

Game Informer’s first release was the iconic Fall Issue of 1991.

GameStop acquired FuncoLand in 2000. Due to this acquisition, a large amount of promotion has been done in-store, which has contributed to the success of the magazine; as of 30 June 2017 it was the 5th most popular magazine by copies circulated. 

Game Informer has transitioned to a more online-based focus since the 2010s, becoming an important part of GameStop’s customer loyalty program, PowerUp Rewards, which offers subscribers access to special content on the official website.

In August 2019, after months of declining financials for GameStop, about half of the existing Game Informer staff were let go, part of the larger cut of more than 120 jobs by GameStop as part of the effort to improve their financial performance.

Luckily, Game Informer’s story doesn’t end there.

The Revival

In April 2021, GameStop poached 8-year Amazon veteran Elliott Wilke as Chief Growth Officer, tasked to oversee growth strategies for Power Up Rewards and Game Informer.

GameStop’s announcement post for Elliott Wilke on LinkedIn.

Since then, the company has implemented several fan-supported upgrades to Power Up Rewards such as exclusive access to coveted restocks of next-gen consoles and graphics cards.

On August 19th, Game Informer has unveiled a revamped Game Informer Show, featuring new hosts and a better audio experience.

Gamers and investors alike can watch Game Informer’s video update here on their official YouTube channel.

With former host Ben Reeves holding new responsibilities as Game Informer’s Online Content Director, he passes the torch onto a different pair of hosts, Alex Stadnik and Alex Van Aken, who are taking the show in a new direction.

The format is changing and the show now features a news section, weekly roundtable chats about industry topics, and more.

So What?

Podcast viewership is on the rise, with 55% (155 million) of the US population having listened to a podcast in 2020 – up from 51% in 2019, citing data from The Infinite Dial.

For Game Informer to excel alongside GameStop’s transformation, increased focus on the latest trends in digital content consumption will be necessary, and now appear to be under way.

Sources: Kotaku, The Infinite Dial, Game Informer on YouTube, Alliance for Audited Media

The Wall Street Journal spoke to current and former GameStop board members to break the news on conclusions GMEdd drew four months ago. 

The story GameStop’s Power Player: How Outsider Ryan Cohen Wrested Control by Sarah E. Needleman at the Wall Street Journal released today describes an inside look at how the founder of Chewy took over a struggling gaming retailer.

Strikingly enough, GMEdd already published most of these details by analyzing digital breadcrumbs, without speaking to any confidential sources.

The story begins in 2019

Back in May, GMEdd.com revealed that Ryan Cohen had started to build his GameStop position as early as 2019, which has now been discovered by the Wall Street Journal.

To recap, the company was hoping for a buyout after years of unfruitful executive shakeups.

In early 2019, GameStop tried and failed to sell itself after years of stagnant growth and corporate strategy missteps. That spring, it hired a new CEO, George Sherman, a veteran of retailers including Advance Auto Parts. Mr. Sherman was GameStop’s fifth CEO in less than two years. Later in 2019, Mr. Cohen began building his stake. [WSJ,  Aug. 12 2021]

The WSJ now reports that Ryan Cohen’s swift accumulation of power at GameStop was orchestrated from his Florida beachfront apartment as the result of a series of previously unreported moves, people familiar with the matter said.

August 2020 ownership disclosure by Ryan Cohen and RC Ventures.

In May, GMEdd wraps up the history of Ryan Cohen’s initial GameStop strategy as:

Ryan Cohen started buying into GameStop in April of 2019, with a disclosure following increased holdings in August 2020. It’s unknown as to when he made the decision and how much time was spent beforehand figuring out activist investor logistics coinciding with a PR blitz, but it is reasonable to assume he was strategically building public-facing credibility for himself before revealing his high-stakes investment. [GMEdd, May 29 2021]

Have a seat

The WSJ reports that as GameStop’s board learned of Ryan Cohen’s stock purchases the directors offered him a board seat, according to current and former board members.

This aligns with the detail pointed out by GMEdd’s own Rod Alzmann that GameStop’s Investor Relations had referred to Ryan Cohen as a great shareholder since April of 2019.

Rod Alzmann’s rough notes after speaking to GameStop IR in late 2020.

The confidential sources claim that Cohen turned down the entreaty, telling directors that a sole board seat would give him no meaningful influence over decision making.

In November, Ryan Cohen released his famous letter stating just that.

According to these sources, the board responded to Cohen’s November 2020 letter by hosting a private call with the activist investor.

kill the cash cushion

The WSJ reports that Cohen erupted the following month when GameStop said it would sell $100 million in new stock.

Directors claim that the topic hadn’t come up on his call with the board.

Cohen, a 12.9% shareholder of GameStop at the time, reportedly worried the plan would damage the company’s standing among investors by reducing the value of existing shares.

The confidential source reveals that in response, Cohen wrote an email to GameStop’s then-chairwoman, Kathy Vrabeck, warning her that he would go public with his disapproval if the company proceeded with the sale.

Verbatim, we imagine the email went something like this.

Cohen urged her to share the email with other directors, people familiar with the matter said. The company shortly after scuttled the planned stock sale, for reasons undisclosed.

A former board member claims that Cohen made a significant power move here.

The ill-timed stock offering created a wedge and he used it to his advantage.

Reportedly leery of a prolonged fight and open to new ideas to improve the business, the board invited Cohen and his former business partners Jim Grube and Alan Attal to join in January.

“Welcome” aboard

The sources claim that Ryan Cohen approached his first board meeting, held over videoconference that same month, as a blitz.

Cohen also attended the Annual Shareholders Meeting via videoconference in June.

In his first meeting on the board, Cohen reportedly proposed the formation of a new committee to review GameStop’s strategy for spending and hiring.

Cohen requested this committee consist of himself, fellow activist investor Kurt Wolf and former Chewy executive Alan Attal. Some members of the board said they worried about permitting Cohen so much power on subjects of day-to-day management, but the proposal was approved.

GameStop announced the committee via News Release on March 8th.

The WSJ reports that Mr. Cohen proceeded to personally recruit new talent, including executives from Amazon.com Inc., Alphabet Inc.’s Google, and Chewy, all big names that GMEdd has been tracking hires from since May.

Cohen reportedly countered other executives that questioned his decisions, telling them that “the pace of change needed to quicken.”

In an instance shared by people familiar with the matter, Ryan Cohen asked a company executive to sign a deal to lease a new fulfillment center, hoping to speed up delivery times for customers’ online orders.

The executive reportedly pushed back with the belief that such a request from a director was unusual and against company policy that called for such contracts to undergo vetting that included multiple executives. The project later moved forward.

Sudden rise

GameStop directors were reportedly concerned about the sudden rise in valuation.

The board debated whether to discuss it publicly and whether the stock volatility could lead to shareholder lawsuits, current and former directors said.

Few directors other than Mr. Cohen were familiar with Reddit, the social network where speculative investors began to conjugate, board members said.

GameStop quickly became Reddit’s stock market darling.

The WSJ reports that Ryan Cohen’s rapidly-growing celebrity status, combined with his tendency to dabble in the company’s operations, earned him fans neither in the boardroom nor among GameStop’s executive ranks.

“Ryan personified a hero against the hedge funds,” a former board member said

One GameStop director, PetSmart Inc. chief executive J.K. Symancyk, on multiple occasions told board members that Chewy under Mr. Cohen was unprofitable and later required a full information-technology overhaul, according to people familiar with the discussions.

Several directors interpreted the remarks from Mr. Symancyk, who met Mr. Cohen in the process of joining PetSmart, as criticism. Others reportedly viewed the commentaries as matter-of-fact descriptions.

Get the bell out

In an effort to gain more control of GameStop’s spending,  Cohen pushed for finance chief Jim Bell to be the first senior executive to go, people familiar with the matter said.

It worked.

On February 23rd, 2021, GameStop announced Jim Bell’s resignation via News Release.

A handful of top executives, including CEO George Sherman, considered stepping down and claiming their contracts had been breached because of the reduction in their duties due to the board member’s involvement in corporate affairs, a person familiar with the matter said. 

The WSJ reports that the new board member was brash and outspoken, while George Sherman, 60, tended to keep to himself, people who know them both said. 

Though Mr. Sherman worked through most of the pandemic in GameStop’s Texas headquarters, it was Mr. Cohen, on all-hours video calls from his apartment, who called many of the shots, according to board members.

On top of this, new employees, likely appointed by Cohen, frequently sought out the brash new board member directly with questions about the business or operations, bypassing the CEO, people familiar said.

Ryan Cohen encouraged Mr. Sherman to step aside, and in April he agreed.

George Sherman officially departed GameStop in June.

In private conversations, Cohen reportedly expressed shock that even executives with relatively short tenures could leave with lucrative stock awards.

Moving Forward

In conversations with directors and executives, the new Chairman emphasized improving the experience for GameStop customers, predicting that gamers will support the company if it provides better service, competitive prices and faster shipping.

The WSJ claims that people familiar with the matter said that through midsummer, GameStop has hired more than 80 new employees with technology experience.

Huh. Wonder where they got that data.

View GMEdd’s latest tech hire report, detailing over 100 tech hires, at GMEdd’s Reports and Model page.

While the former board had intentions to sell shares at sub-$20 for an insignificant cash cushion, Ryan Cohen has raised more than $1.6 billion at greater than $200 per share, eliminating the company’s long-term debt and funding a transformation that will be studied in business schools for decades.

Power to the players.

Source: Wall Street Journal

GameStop has been selected to demonstrate a new feature on Twitter that allows businesses to add a shopping section to the top of their profiles.

GameStop’s Twitter presence has seen a plethora of updates since the transformation began with RC Ventures being awarded three seats on the board in January.

Most notably, the gaming retailer’s customer support division, lead by Chewy’s Kelli Durkin, has hired a team of millennials to run the account and respond to tweets by GameStop shoppers.

The latest change, though, comes from Twitter itself.

Twitter Shopping

In a blog post titled Twitter Shopping: Testing the Shop Module, on Wednesday, July 28th, Twitter announced that the social media giant would be adding a feature that allows the company to explore how shoppable profiles can create a pathway from talking about and discovering products on Twitter to actually purchasing them. 

Twitter’s Blog Post from Wednesday, July 28 2021

According to Twitter, people in the U.S. who use Twitter in English on iOS devices will be able to see the Shop Module on select profiles, allowing them to purchase products from their favorite stores without having to leave the app.

Twitter states that the platform is starting small with a handful of brands in the United States. One of which is GameStop.

Sign of the times

While this may not seem like much, it’s a sign of innovation lying within the new tech and social media teams.

Could you have pictured GameStop being one of only a dozen brands selected to pilot a new e-commerce feature on one of the biggest social networks when Sherman was in charge? We don’t think so.

GameStop’s digital presence has seen rapid improvements while GMEdd has counted over 100 senior-level hires by the aspiring technology company, with a vast range of forward-thinking talent poached largely from e-commerce giants such as Amazon, Chewy, and others.

Source: Twitter Blog

After tweeting a nod to both the Olympics and the news about GameStop’s brand coming to Canada, the Chairman has refined his Twitter following.

Here at GMEdd, we overanalyze. It’s what we do best. 

On February 4th, 2021, Ryan Cohen briefly followed GameStop’s investing icon Roaring Kitty. GMEdd decided that was worthy of discussion, so we called attention to it. When Ryan Cohen made any sort of adjustments to his following from that point on, we felt obliged to cover it.

Since then, Ryan Cohen has made several tweaks to his Twitter following, and we have continued to try and speculate as to what each change could mean.

Follow Along the History

February 4, 2021: Ryan Cohen follows Roaring Kitty as the personality becomes the face of retail investors for his famous conviction in GameStop. At the time, Cohen had followed just GeekWire, PCGamer, The Wall Street Journal, and the Financial Times.

February 5, 2021: We watched as Ryan Cohen doubled his 5 follows into 10 overnight, diluting his count more than the CEO of AMC. Cohen follows Steam, Electronic Arts, SEGA, Call of Duty, EA Sports, Xbox, PlayStation and GameStop, and unfollows Roaring Kitty, The Wall Street Journal, and the Financial Times.

February 15, 2021: Ryan Cohen follows Elon Musk. Cohen Unfollows SEGA to accommodate for the spot for Musk.

February 24, 2021: The Chewy founder unfollows Electronic ArtsCall of Duty, and  EASPORTS.

May 13, 2021: Ryan Cohen unfollows Elon Musk amid controversy on Twitter. Cohen is left with only 4 follows: Xbox, PlayStation, NintendoAmerica, and GameStop.

What now?

On Wednesday, July 28th, Ryan Cohen has unfollowed Xbox, PlayStation, and NintendoAmerica.

Cohen is left following just the GameStop official Twitter profile. Simple, sleek, elegant.

Could this mean that GameStop is the only company on Ryan Cohen’s mind? Jeff Bezos also only follows one account, is this another play from Amazon’s book?

Who knows. Does it really matter? We’ll stop stalking your following now, Ryan.

We promise.

Source:  Ryan Cohen on Twitter

On Wednesday, July 28th, GameStop Corp. announced that the Company plans to rebrand existing and future EB Games in Canada.

By the end of this year, EB Games’ Canadian locations and online store will assume the GameStop brand and name. The decision aligns with Ryan Cohen’s plans to revitalize retail.

GameStop claims the rebranding follows feedback from valued customers and stockholders.

GameStop’s News Release from July 28, 2021

GameStop’s Annual Report reveals that as of January 30th, 2021, GameStop has 253 locations in Canada, making up 15.58% of their international store base. 

GameStop Corp. has disposed of 46 brick-and-mortar EB Games locations in Canada in over a year, citing data from January 30th 2021.

On Sunday, GMEdd.com released a piece titled Ryan Cohen to Revitalize Retail, speculating that GameStop could use the stock market frenzy in January as the perfect consumer awareness campaign to rebrand international EBgames locations into GameStop stores.

The stock market phenomenon surrounding GameStop shares that shook financial markets in January 2021 can work as a groundwork for the perfect, free, consumer awareness campaign required to rebrand international stores, such as EBgames, into a cohesive GameStop identity. [GMEdd.com, July 25th 2021]

Source: GameStop News Release, GameStop Form 10-k

On Tuesday, July 27th, the S&P Dow Jones Indices has announced that GameStop is set to join the S&P MidCap 400, effective August 4th.

S&P SmallCap 600 constituent GameStop Corp. (NYSE:GME) will replace Weingarten Realty Investors (NYSE:WRI) in the S&P MidCap 400.

Lakeland Financial Corp. (NASD:LKFN) will replace GameStop in the S&P SmallCap 600.

These changes are effective prior to the opening of trading on Wednesday, August 4.

The S&P 400 index serves as a barometer for the U.S. mid-cap equities sector and is the most widely followed mid-cap index.

The Standard & Poors  July 27, 2021 Press Release

The S&P MidCap 400® provides investors with a benchmark for mid-sized companies. The index, which is distinct from the large-cap S&P 500®, is designed to measure the performance of 400 mid-sized companies, reflecting the distinctive risk and return characteristics of this market segment.

Standard & Poors states that mid-cap exposure generally captures a phase in the typical corporate life cycle in which firms have successfully navigated the challenges specific to small companies, such as raising initial capital and managing early growth.

At the same time, mid caps tend to be quite dynamic and not so large that continued growth is unattainable.

Source: Standard & Poors Press Release

Despite widespread brick-and-mortar closures due to economic unrest caused by COVID-19 in 2020, GameStop’s new Chairman is infuriated by dusty shelves and untrained employees and has committed to a plan to revive stores in tandem with a massive e-commerce push.

Three sources with apparent first-hand knowledge of Ryan Cohen’s strategy spoke with Reuters for an article titled Flush from Reddit rally, GameStop plots store revival, revealing the Chairman’s thoughts on the gaming giant’s retail store footprint and his ideal cohesive transformation.

While the identity of these sources is not known, at Reuters has been in contact with executives at the company for some time, reporting GameStop’s inability to deploy an offering during January’s frenzy in February, the email string between Cohen and a dissatisfied customer in March, and the CEO search initiation in April.

Undercover Boss

As GMEdd has previously reported, Ryan Cohen has been visiting GameStop retail stores around the United States and sharing photos on Twitter inside some locations.

The unnamed source claims that the purpose of these unannounced visits by the Chairman have been to “ghost-shop,” to better understand the retail situation.

Cohen was often infuriated by the dusty shelves and empty racks he found, as well as by some employees who did not greet customers properly or offer to help them, the sources said. 

The source also claims that Cohen has found that GameStop’s brick-and-mortar stores need to improve the customer experience by stocking  the basics and the most popular items, plus creating sections to cater to specific categories of customers, from video game fanatics to mothers seeking puzzles for their children.

Cohen has also reportedly told executives and staff that the “only differentiator” for GameStop was customer service and that needed to improve.

Investing in Retail

Recent statements from the executives along with Cohen’s “ghost-shopping” seem to indicate the company is planning to do more with its retail locations other than just reduce the overall footprint, countering the previous strategy directed by former CEO George Sherman. 

While store closures to date have lead to improvements in cash flow, GameStop stating last year it was able to capture 40% of closed store sales through online channels and other nearby stores reveals there is still value to be extracted from the considerable store fleet that remains.

Ryan Cohen has reportedly become increasingly bullish about the stores and plans to allocate some of the share offering proceeds to redesign and restock stores, alongside training staff.

The piece also answers what some of the recent capital raises will pay for.

Included in Cohen’s goals are better product selection in stores, extended hours to serve gamers who tend to be night owls, and price matching against Amazon and Walmart. 

Reuters also claims that GameStop, which is debt-free after its capital raises, also plans to hire new people at the stores and meet long-standing requests by many store managers for refurbishment, sources said.

Since Cohen’s arrival, GameStop’s board and executive ranks have been overhauled and these newcomers are concentrating on the stores.

GameStop Chief Operating Officer, Jenna Owens commented on LinkedIn shortly after joining the company that spending time training in stores would be her first priority.

It seems Cohen’s transformation strategy may be more focused on an omnichannel angle rather than a pure ecommerce play.

Questions still remain as to the fate of international stores, namely stores in Europe, Canada, and Australia carrying the EB Games, Zing, and Micromania brands.

Will these be retained as is, sold off to generate further cash, or rebranded into GameStop stores?

Stores in each region are all within striking distance of profitability, with Australian stores (branded as EB Games), the region least impacted by COVID-related operating restrictions during 2020, generating positive earnings in the latest fiscal year.

GameStop, over the last 15 months, has closed 811 stores, leaving it with about 3,000 U.S. stores and 1,600 stores abroad.

GameStop’s store footprint has shrunk over the past 5 years, citing data from GameStop’s annual reports

Florida Confirmed, Rapid expansion

Back in May, GMEdd.com speculated in a piece titled GameStop Hints at New Florida Office that the fast-paced e-commerce initiatives warranted the company soon opening a Florida-based call center.

Job postings on GameStop’s website, along with activity on LinkedIn and Twitter from employees, seem to be hinting towards a South Florida-based customer support center for GameStop. [GMEdd.com, May 18th 2021]

The unnamed sources close to matters within GameStop have now confirmed the incoming lease of a Florida call center to Reuters, stating that GameStop is close to signing a lease on a 30,000-square-foot call center in Southern Florida.

This adds credibility to hints that GameStop’s corporate footprint is increasing at a rapid pace.

Since RC Venture’s agreement with the board 6 months ago, GameStop has announced the leases of two fulfillment centers: one in Pennsylvania and one in Nevada.

With the new customer service center in Florida appearing to be coming soon, the claim that the company’s transformation will be studied for the next decade may not be far from the truth.

GameStop has rapidly expanded since Cohen’s arrival. The retailer has an existing fulfillment center in Kentucky that is not pictured.

moving forward

While GameStop has, in recent history, emphasized reducing brick-and-mortar locations, it remains unclear how Ryan Cohen and the new team at GameStop now view an optimized physical store footprint. 

Operating under prior Chief Executive Officer George Sherman’s GameStop Reboot strategy, the company noted in their 2Q20 earnings that the United States represented the greatest de-densification opportunity.

Sherman cited that the company has seen closed store sales volume transfer to neighboring locations and online well in excess of profit breakeven levels.

So long as transfer rates remain high enough to improve profitability, continued de-densification makes economic sense for the brick-and-mortar stores.

The company’s 10-K language aligns with this, stating the belief that, as current leases expire, the retailer will be able to obtain either renewals at present locations, leases for equivalent locations in the same area, or be able to close the stores with expiring leases and transfer enough of the sales to other nearby stores or e-commerce properties to improve, if not at least maintain, profitability.

All of GameStop’s retail stores are leased. This arrangement gives the company maximum flexibility.

Fortunately, the leases for the majority of GameStop stores expire within the next two years, affording maximum optionality for the company as the new console cycle shifts into high gear.

The stock market phenomenon surrounding GameStop shares that shook financial markets in January 2021 can work as a groundwork for the perfect, free, consumer awareness campaign required to rebrand international stores, such as EBgames, into a cohesive GameStop identity. 

While Ryan Cohen seeks to revitalize existing brick-and-mortar stores, the path forward is largely unknown as the Chairman has indicated he has no plans to “telegraph GameStop’s strategy to the competition.”

Rod Alzmann, Jenna Dauzat, and Chris Silvestro contributed, Joe Fonicello edited and contributed.

Sources: Reuters, GameStop Q2 2020 Earnings Call Transcript, GameStop Form 10-K, Jenna Owens on LinkedIn