Retail generally evolves with the times. Different brands implement new technology into the way things are sold to make it easier for customers to get their product. As with the digital age, customers find themselves shopping online more and more. GameStop is no different, along with their recent closure and liquidation on their ThinkGeek website, they’re making big moves to evolve their brand further with major layoffs of store managers (among others) in what they have deemed the “GameStop Reboot.”
At GameStop, managers are not referred to as “managers”, but as “leads.” The Regional and District Leads (RL and DL, respectively) had a huge upturn in the past day, it seems. News started to break over at the GameStop subreddit, where employees discussed the matter and revealed if they were affected. Many employees shared that they were suddenly part of a different district or that they had no idea what this meant for them. According to GameSutra, the layoffs include over fifty “regional managers, district managers, HR staff, and loss prevention managers” for their “GameStop Reboot.”
Internally, an email went out (which was shared to Twitter), detailing the money moves, which was as follows:
“We have important news to share with you today concerning the redesign of our Field Leadership team. As part of our continued GameStop Reboot transformation initiative, a dedicated team, including the Retail Vice Presidents, HR, LP and the U.S. Store Operations leadership team, have been working diligently to realign our current field regions and districts in an effort to reduce our cost structure and build efficiencies into our field leadership organization so that we can reinvest in the business.
This realignment results in an expanded size of GameStop’s regions and districts, therefore reducing the number of field leaders required to run the organization. The realignment also allows for a reset of the GSL reporting structure, enabling these new multi-unit leader’s ownership in their span of control. More details to come on the GSL process.
Unfortunately, with these changes, there are more than 50 field leaders who have been impacted and will be leaving the GameStop team. This includes regional, district, HR, and LP leaders. These leaders will be missed and we wish them success in their future endeavors.
These decisions are not easy, but necessary to help us reduce costs to enable investment in revenue-driving initiatives that will help grow the business once again. There is more work to be done to streamline the number of tasks for our field leaders and provide tools to support their daily activities. This work has already begun and will continue moving forward.”
We Should Have Expected This
Back in June, GameStop’s own ThinkGeek online website had a pretty sudden sunset closure, inevitably merging the ThinkGeek brand into GameStop’s website. While the ThinkGeek retail brick-and-mortar stores remain open, the website held a “moving” sale and subsequently dissolved. While it meant a dozen layoffs, according to video game business site GameDaily, “website operations, buyers, and marketing” was mostly affected. This would make sense if the jobs were being given to the GameStop team already handling those operations.
Just last month, Gamestop announced a partnership with R/GA, a “global innovation firm” that is helping them test out different types of renovations in “select markets.” They’re changing the way that customers view their stores to make them more “experience” oriented. These changes are expected to affect the layout of GameStop stores and could include dedicated spaces for competitive play. Some concepts also include dedicated “retro” stores, not unlike many mom-and-pop run game shops already out there, with a keen focus on classic systems and games.
While the layoffs of the Regional and District Leads may seem scary to some, it’s all (seemingly) part of GameStop’s plan to evolve with the times and organize their company a tad bit differently. Could these changes be the apocalyptic omen for brick-and-mortar GameStop stores or is it just another power move from a big company to stay relevant in trying times?Related: GameStop, GameStop Reboot, Industry, News, ThinkGeek