GameStop reportedly tells employees it’s an ‘essential’ retailer during the pandemic


GameStop is reportedly telling employees that its retail operations are considered “essential” during the coronavirus pandemic.

That’s according to two separate reports from Kotaku and Polygon. Those websites cite sources within the company and a memo.

Here’s more from Kotaku:

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“Due to the products we carry that enable and enhance our customers’ experience in working from home, we believe GameStop is classified as essential retail and therefore is able to remain open during this time,” the retailer said in a memo to staff this afternoon, obtained by Kotaku.

“We have received reports of local authorities visiting stores in an attempt to enforce closure despite our classification. Store Managers are approved to provide the document linked below to law enforcement as needed.”

The document in question encourages police officers to call GameStop’s corporate headquarters if they have a problem with this policy.

The US Centers for Disease Control has put out detailed information on the coronavirus. They are recommending, among other things, distancing of at least six feet between individuals to prevent the virus from spreading. They are also recommending that people avoid large groups.

While the CDC does not put out travel guidance within the United States, six San Francisco Bay area counties have instituted “shelter-in-place” orders limiting travel. In addition, the governors of Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, and several other states have closed bars and dine-in restaurants to patrons.

In just a short period of time, life has changed dramatically for most Americans. Public schools and universities have canceled in-person classes and are now teaching students online. Meanwhile, other cities have issued voluntary travel bans.

Needless to say, basically no one would consider GameStop to be an “essential” service. So for the company to send out a memo that basically instructs managers to ignore local guidance, keep stores open, and tell employees to come to work is pretty ridiculous.

What do you think about the report? Has your employer taken similar action? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

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