GameStop Looking to Apple and Wireless to Secure Their Future

Gamestop begins moving beyond gaming, seemingly preparing for the future

When people think of GameStop, they think of somewhere specializing in video games. During GameStop's Investor Day 2014 event this week, the retailer spoke of a future beyond games, something the company is calling "GameStop 3.0."

According to GameStop CEO Paul Raines, the gaming aspect of the store expects to grow through the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Wii U. Yet the retailer is setting its eyes on other types of markets. Raines stated that for the future of GameStop, the company is eyeing the market of non-gaming devices, the "Apple Ecosystem", and the wireless market.

They have already dipped their feet in

Anyone who has recently stopped at GameStop knows that the company has already put their foot in the Apple market. They already buy and sell various Apple devices. They also own Simply Mac, an Apple specialist store. They plan to expand Simply Mac, with support from Apple themselves. Raines stated: "We have spent a lot of time in Cupertino with Apple leadership and we have their support to grow Simply Mac,"

When it comes to the wireless market, GameStop already owns AT&T specialist Spring Mobile, and operate many Cricket Wireless stores in the U.S. Raines said that GameStop is the third largest AT&T dealer in the U.S.:

The "wireless market is perhaps the most exciting market in the consumer space...connected devices are forecast to go from $8 billion today to $50 billion in five years. And many will be sold in a store and available for trade and refurbishment at GameStop. The wireless growth opportunity for GameStop is only beginning."

Raines added that GameStop can implement their buy/sell/trade business model to these different types of markets.
GameStop Is looking elsewhere for inspiration

During the presentation, Raines brought up other companies that moved to other markets, and that GameStop looked at these businesses to gain an understanding of how to do the same. He brought up cookware retailer Williams-Sonoma as an example. Williams-Sonoma successfully acquired Pottery Barn in 1986, launched Pottery Barn Kids in 1999, and then opened the furniture store West Elm in 2003. 

GameStop also looked at the VF Company, which began as an underwear company. The company then took on brands such as Lee, Timberland, and Wrangler. Raines stated: 

"So we are students of extraordinary business transformation stories. Williams Sonoma and VF are great examples to us of the potential of understanding your consumers and matching that insight to your own core competencies."

It seems GameStop is looking at a future where the worst can happen...

I feel that there is more to this than just a simple expansion. They are securing other markets that they could turn to if they have to give up games, something to keep them afloat.

I hardly stop at GameStop anymore; I now buy my games elsewhere. Other gamers are also moving on, going to other places to buy their games, such as Amazon and Steam. I did not even consider GameStop when I decided to buy my PlayStation 4. If more and more gamers continue to turn away from GameStop, they will need another leg to stand on--someway to make up the game sales lost elsewhere. There is a lot of negativity against GameStop, and it seems like it is catching up to them. Now they are turning away from their namesake to stay around.


Senior Intern

Avid gamer and all around geek for over 20 years

Published Apr. 24th 2014
  • Cortalia
    Well GameStop is EBGames up here in Canada and frankly I only shop there when I absolutely have to.

    I've tried several locations and its the same piss poor customer service. I pre-ordered Lightning Returns, went to pick it up

    Clerk "sorry were out of copies"...

    Me: "I pre-ordered it... I paid for the game in full, and your telling me, you sold my copy, which is supposed to be reserved for 24 hours to someone else"

    Clerk "uh, yeah, you should have come and picked it up earlier"

    Me: "I work an hour out of town, I leave for work before you open, I called this morning to make sure my copy was saved"

    Clerk "like I said, you should have come and got it earlier".

    Not to mention with the FFX remaster came out, I kind of forgot about it until a few days later when I checked my email to find a message from Square-Enix about its release. Keep in mind...different store.

    Me "I'd like to pick up my copy of the FFX remaster Limited Edition"

    Clerk "Sorry we don't have any, should have come to get it sooner, we only hold it for 24 hours"

    Me" I was never called that it came in"

    Clerk "Yes you were"

    Me "Ok, here's my phone, here's the list of recent calls, do you see your number on it?"

    Clerk "yeah, its right here"

    Me "that's the number to OK Tire, They called me to let me know my new rims came in"

    Clerk "No that's our number"

    Me *** Dials number**

    OK Tire "Thanks for calling OK Tire this is -----, how can i help you"

    Me "sorry, was just verifying to the EB Games clerk that this isn't their number"

    OK Tire "Well... I'm pretty sure the big sign on the wall says this is OK Tire"

    Me *** Hangs up *** "So... care to lie to me some more? Just give me my money back Ill buy the game elsewhere"

    Clerk "Theirs no refunds on pre-orders".

    I'll summarize from here on... I swear a lot, I buy a regular edition, discs get thrown and I wind up walking across the parking lot to buy my Limited Edition copy from Wal-mart and I'm pretty sure If I walk back into that EB Games...their probably going to call the Police.

    And I know its not just me, I hear stories all the time of pre-orders being sold off, pre-order bonus's not being received, previously played games being sold as new, ect ect.

    In short maybe they need to fix the core issue of customer service instead of trying to expand into other areas, then again most games can either be bought at any major retailer like best buy, walmart, ect, online from the marketplace or amazon, and now alot of publishers offer direct purchases. I don't really see a future for a game specific store anymore, now that gaming is more mainstream its just that much more accessible.

    Where am I getting Drakenguard 3 from... directly from Square-Enix, the pre-order bonus's are listed out, it gets shipped to arrive day of launch or the day after. So as long as the courier does their job, all will be well, heck even if their a few days late im still better off than going to EB Games.

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