GameStop Looking to Apple and Wireless to Secure Their Future

Gamestop begins moving beyond gaming, seemingly preparing for the future
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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.”

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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.


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Avid gamer and all around geek for over 20 years