American gaming retailer GameStop has revealed that it plans to close "between 180 and 200 underperforming stores globally by the end of this fiscal year".
The news comes from the company's Q2 earnings call, where CFO James Bell noted that GameStop wishes to "de-densify" its chain despite 95% of its 5,700 worldwide stores remaining profitable. The move also includes plans to close more stores over the next couple of years (thanks, GamesIndustry.biz):
"While that is an impressive statistic, we have a clear opportunity to improve our overall profitability by de-densifying our chain. That work is well underway. We are on track to close between 180 and 200 underperforming stores globally by the end of this fiscal year. And while these closures were more opportunistic, we are applying a more definitive, analytic approach, including profit levels and sales transferability, that we expect will yield a much larger tranche of closures over the coming 12 to 24 months."
This is the latest in a series of closures and cost-cutting techniques that have been taking place recently; approximately 170 employees lost their jobs with the firm in August including seven Game Informer staff members, a monthly gaming magazine published by GameStop.
It would appear that the changes won't necessarily have an immediate effect, however. Bell went on to explain that the current timing of console generations and early next-gen announcements could have a negative impact on sales.
"We expect our year-over-year sales to be down over the next three to four quarters reflecting the end of [the console] cycle. Compounding this negative impact on sales is the fact that console makers have confirmed the launch earlier than they have in the past. We anticipate that this will lead to much lighter title slate through the rest of 2019 and early 2020 given the end of the cycle timing for current consoles."