To help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the United States, stores across the country deemed non-essential are temporarily shutting up shop. According to IGN, struggling video game retailer GameStop has decided not to comply with these ordinances.
Leaked internal memos, sent from GameStop corporate, inform stores to stay open during the pandemic:
Due to the products we carry that enable and enhance our customers’ experience in working from home, we believe GameStop is classified as essential retail and therefore is able to remain open during this time.
These essential products include webcams, microphones, computer mouse, keyboards, monitors, chargers and audio equipment. Games and console devices are not listed.
The same memo instructs employees what to do if local authorities attempt to shut down a store:
We have received reports of local authorities visiting stores in an attempt to enforce closure despite our classification. Store managers are approved to provide the document linked below to law enforcement as needed
This document informs anyone who has a problem with GameStop remaining open to contact its corporate headquarters.
Several anonymous GameStop employees have shared stories about their experiences. One said the company isn't "offering paid time off" and another said their store was not being supplied with the necessary cleaning supplies to combat the outbreak.
Over on Twitter, GameStop said it was "working diligently during this unprecedented time to provide customers & associates with the safest environment possible" and would be reducing trading hours, cancelling events and suspending trade-ins.