State and native authorities in Massachusetts have ordered all GameStops there to shut, ending a weeklong standoff wherein the video games retailer insisted it was a vital enterprise and continued to serve prospects with curbside pickups.
The Boston Globe reported on Friday that Boston metropolis inspectors ordered GameCease’s Dorchester location to shut down on Tuesday, then visited it on Wednesday to ensure it wasn’t open. The retailer was not fined but it surely was given a nuisance quotation. GameCease later confirmed to The Globe that it had closed all shops in Massachusetts however didn’t remark additional.
Polygon has reached out to a GameCease consultant for extra touch upon what shops stay open, and why. The firm has greater than 4,000 places all through the United States. It was additionally combating for survival earlier than the novel coronavirus swept via the nation, forcing enterprise closures, social distancing, and different measures to restrict its unfold.
On March 19, GameCease insisted that it supplied important providers, in an announcement that stated it additionally offered “products and devices that are important to facilitate remote work, distance learning, and virtual connectivity.” After taking harsh criticism for maintaining shops open, GameCease introduced two days later that it was transferring its operations on-line, though it could proceed to serve prospects with “contactless” curbside pickup.
That meant (in response to a memo reported by The Globe) advising workers to put on gloves and even tape plastic baggage over their arms, open the entrance door solely barely whereas maintaining its glass between them and the shopper, and handing over no matter they’d ordered via the crack.
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker ordered all non-essential companies to shut on March 24. GameCease apparently continued to function in that state for every week earlier than authorities put their foot down. In reply to criticism in regards to the firm’s concern for its workers, GameCease stated all workers had been informed they didn’t must work if they didn’t really feel snug doing so, and that furloughed staff could be paid for 2 weeks at their common charge.
Even within the sturdy economic system previous COVID-19’s unfold, GameCease was hurting badly. Last yr, the corporate reported sharp gross sales declines and important quarterly losses, reflecting online game shoppers’ growing shift to on-line buying and supply of their video games. In August, the corporate laid off virtually half the employees of Game Informer journal, and by the tip of the yr closed 200 shops, with extra closures anticipated in 2020.