Back on Sept. 8, a GameStop in Pryor, Oklahoma streamed a short video to its Facebook page of a retro redesign the store had undergone, and now we are receiving more context about this store in the business’s big picture.
GameStop as a modern boutique for retro gaming
The Pryor GameStop redesign has a “boutique” feel (pun not intended, I swear to God). Merchandise is arranged neatly in defined spaces, T-shirts are displayed as if at an American Eagle store, and video games are placed comprehensibly along the walls. There is even a wall-mounted digital display for ordering GameStop.com products directly to your home.
However, a hallmark of the new look is what the employee filming describes as a “retro gaming bay,” meaning a selection of retro games playable in chairs on CRT TVs available on site. Nintendo 64, original Xbox, GameCube, and vague “PlayStation” are namedropped as playable. And there are even snacks to buy, perhaps to make it feel like a gaming community center.
All of this agrees with news from last month that GameStop was looking to rebrand some stores with a focus on retro gaming and esports respectively. IGN confirms through anonymous sources that the redesign of the Pryor GameStop matches internal company blueprints for a redesign shown at GameStop’s annual conference.
Who is this redesign truly aimed at?
Last week, GameStop lost another $415 million as its stock crashed, and there are plans to close between 180 and 200 stores. Prior to that, the company laid off over 120 corporate staff, including staff at gaming publication Game Informer. As a result of these developments, there are those who believe the company is headed down the path to shutting down, and thus one might wonder what the point of retro or esports redesigns are.
Well, for starters, GameStop has to try something to keep itself afloat, regardless of the desperation involved, and the GameStop in the video honestly looks pretty nice. But as shrewd parties have pointed out, it could be that the point of these redesigns isn’t necessarily to entice consumers, but rather to entice an investment firm to see some promise in the company and buy it out. Given the company’s financial situation and the steps it has been taking, this possibility does not sound unlikely at all.
Whatever its strategy may be, GameStop is not done fighting yet.
Are you ready? WE ARE!!
Posted by GameStop Pryor Plaza on Sunday, September 8, 2019