Bethany Clough

GameStop is shutting stores and the Valley has a ton of them. Will they close?

An employee assists customers shopping for Microsoft Xbox 360 video games inside a GameStop Corp. store in Louisville, Ky., on March 15, 2018. In June 2018, the company confirmed reports that its in talks with third parties for a potential buyout.
An employee assists customers shopping for Microsoft Xbox 360 video games inside a GameStop Corp. store in Louisville, Ky., on March 15, 2018. In June 2018, the company confirmed reports that its in talks with third parties for a potential buyout. Bloomberg

Video game retailer GameStop announced this week that it plans to close between 180 to 200 stores – and possibly more.

Will Valley stores be among them?

It’s too soon to tell. The company did not provide a list of stores it’s planning to close.

But the Valley is saturated with GameStop stores.

Fresno has seven stores. There are two in Clovis, two in Merced, one in Atwater, three in Visalia and one each in Sanger, Selma, Dinuba, Hanford, Madera, Tulare and Porterville.

News of the closures came in a quarterly earnings conference call with shareholders of the Texas-based company Tuesday. GameStop plans to close the stores by the end of its fiscal year.

CFO James Bell said during the call that the company would consider factors beyond underperforming sales when determining which locations to close, including whether areas are oversaturated with stores and the feasibility of transferring or merging existing stores, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

That could identify even more stores that will close, he said.

GameStop is best known for selling video games, both physical and digital downloads. But it also sells new and refurbished gaming consles, like Xbox One X, PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch. The stores also have a trade-in program for electronics and games, and sell merchandise like the Funko Pop! vinyl figures of pop-culture characters.

But the business is hurting. GameStop’s second quarter sales fell 14.3 percent and the company reported a net loss of $32 million.

The closure announcement comes less than a month after GameStop announced 120 layoffs at its headquarters.

The company has a “reboot” plan to boost sales that includes becoming more efficient, building its digital capabilities, growing its top-selling categories of merchandise, and bringing in new sources of revenue.

Carla Jimenez of the Forth Worth Star-Telegram contributed to this report.
Bethany Clough covers restaurants and retail for The Fresno Bee. A reporter for 20 years, she now works to answer readers’ questions about business openings, closings and other business news. She has a degree in journalism from Syracuse University and her last name is pronounced Cluff.
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