GameStop will be closed between 2% and 3% of their total stores in North America throughout 2017. According to TechRaptor, they will be shutting down around 150 stores throughout the fiscal year.
CNBC is reporting that during the last quarter hardware sales dropped by 29.1% and software sales took a nosedive by 19.3%.
Total sales took a 13.6% decline in the fourth quarter of 2016. GameStop placed the blame on competitive discounts from rival brick and mortar retail chains such as Wal-Mart and Target.
They’ve made it known that moving forward they would like to provide “annual” guidance instead of quarterly guidance to limit distractions from shareholders.
The reason for the change is that they want to put a focus on other gadgets and peripheral sales outside of just video games. Fortune is reporting that they have plans to open up 65 tech-oriented stores nationwide and 35 new collectible stores. The tech stores will cater toward Apple products, mobile phones, wearables and other gadgets, where-as the collectible stores will focus on figurines, branded paraphernalia and other hobbyist items.
It’s a strange bit of news given that they just recently announced that stock for the Nintendo Switch would be sold out throughout all of 2017, as reported by Ars Technica. One would think that they would capitalize on this as much as possible, selling as many different accessories and gadgets for the Switch to boost hardware sales.
Nevertheless, 150 stores will be closing as GameStop continues to shift its focus in other areas to compensate for the decline.
One of the other big issues – an elephant in the room mind you – that most websites and companies aren’t talking about is the fact that a lot of the big games during the holiday season just didn’t measure up to 2015’s outings. Call of Duty was down, Watch Dogs 2 wasn’t as big a hit as the original, Mafia III barely stayed on the top 10 charts, and Titanfall 2 was sacrificed in order to bolster the appeal of Battlefield 1. Many of the offerings during 2016 just didn’t seem to have staying power, as revealed by Twitch’s most watched stats and the most played PC games stats.
A lack of compelling software meant there wasn’t much reason to buy hardware, and in turn, if the software sales were faltering it’s no wonder GameStop saw a decline in both hardware and software throughout the fourth quarter. Of course, digital distribution also plays a big role in that, and GameStop has yet to adapt to that element of the industry, which is clearly eating into their overall revenue.