When it came through the grapevine that Game Stop was acquiring ThinkGeek, the gaming world rejoiced, genius! When they didn’t combine the two concepts into one shop, we all made a face to palm gesture while shaking our heads.
It’s no surprise that the brick and mortar gaming industry is getting tossed out the window. I mean, seriously, even Shopgirl has to say, why would I drive to the store when I can purchase the game on the device to which I could play it? One can imagine X-Box has Game Stop grasping for air much like that time Netflix crushed Blockbuster. So when you hear your favorite store that sales now, an out of demand product has purchased a company that demanded product and unique philosophy align with its own you feel a tinge of relief, and may cry out with joy, Genius!
But then you have the moment we all have with Sears, “why not drop the clothes and only focus on home improvement? Why juggle what obviously isn’t helping you?” I felt much the same while writing this article last winter first announcing the grand openings of these exciting new ThinkGeek locations.
But what Game Stop understands, that the rest of the business world doesn’t, is gamers love their gaming experiences. I’m not meaning only jostling around a joystick while hollering to their friends and complete strangers through their headset. No I mean they love to share their gaming pride. Conferences are a huge deal, something discussed on my blog last may. Another great past time for the most in depth gamers are LAN parties, or even board gaming nights. Release parties, game nights, Game Stop Expo, these are all great ways to bring the gaming community together and purchase their products.
What we will most likely see with GameStop over the next decade?
- More Omnichannel Opportunities
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In 1984 Ross Perot funded a little company called Babbages, a small shop that offered PC gaming supplies. Today that small shop in the North Park Center has grown to a foot print of over 7,000 locations under the name of Game Stop! Check out how shopgirl feels about these digital dragons on the blog today. Photo Cred: @josh_chappell
You can’t beat them, so you might as well join them. To maintain sales GameStop will most likely be taking on continuous changes and improvements to their online markets.
- Don’t panic, some GameStops will probably be closing eventually.
Their was a time when a Game Stop could be spotted on every corner and mall alongside Subway and Sunglass Hut. It’s not doubt that the world is oversaturated with these locations.
Because we have thousands of stores, there’s a GameStop within a half mile of almost everybody in the United States. -Paul Raines
The fun was to hunt down that long lost game you’ve been searching for, pilfering through the used discs, picking out a few that were new to you and interesting but when you didn’t find the one game there, you moved on to the next shop to collect a new armful of loot. This no longer is the thing, now we want community.
To create a sizable community we need less locations, not more. And for GameStop to really be able to invest in their design and atmosphere to lure gamers away from their community gamer stops…That’s just this shopgirl’s humble opinion though, it’s the only place that perhaps Raines (or my husband for that matter) and I do not see eye to eye.
- Game Stops Are Already Becoming more visually appealing.
No more boring wire racks and a simple Game Stop sign will do. No, to make this immersive experience work we need the dramatics of enthralling merchandising to set the right mood for Gaming gatherings.
- More physical product.
Instead of the walls lined in basic square boxes, we will start seeing more focus on the accessories that can’t be downloaded at home. It seems they are transferring some of the best selling moderately priced collectibles from ThinkGeek locations and infiltrating them into GameStop locations. I wonder if perhaps in time they will just naturally meld the two companies, much like Fed Ex eventually did to Kinkos. You’ll be driving one day and wonder, “wow how long has the words “Game Stop” been missing from that sign, I hadn’t even noticed.”
…At least that’s the moment I had last week when passing a Fed Ex on my cruise down memory drive.
Shopgirl Wants To Know:
- In the end transition and change will have to keep up with technology; what are your thoughts on how GameStop may be strategizing their future success?
- Do you game? What do you play?
Until next time fan boys and girls—>
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