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GameStop Had A Downer Of A Holiday

We've known for a while that GameStop's been having issues. But bless its heart, the company always seems to have some amazing plan to stay alive, or somewhere else to lay the blame if things don't work out. Today we got a taste of the latter thanks to GameStop's holiday sales report.


GamesIndustry.biz reports that GameStop's sales over the holiday season were down 27.5% from 2018. And GameStop — as it is wont to do — explained the decline was "indicative of overall industry trends impacting the video game industry." The company seems to believe that things will definitely pick back up in 2020, as both Sony and Microsoft are targeting new console releases for the holidays this year.

Still, GameStop — with its however many brick-and-mortar locations — seems intent on keeping most of its old retail sales model in place, even with those "industry trends" pointing toward digital sales as the future.

GameStop did mention some new potential channels for revenue. GameStop also did not mention what those might look like. Nonetheless, George Sherman, the company's CEO, seems high on GameStop's prospects for the next year.


"While we expect the challenges that we faced in the fourth quarter to continue into fiscal 2020, we believe we have the right long-term action plans in place to optimize profitability and increase new revenue streams in advance of new console introductions for holiday 2020," Sherman said. "We look forward to delivering progress against our strategy as we move through the year."

It sure seems like the wise thing for GameStop to do at this point would be this: completely reassess what the company does and how future-proof it is. As more people buy games digitally, used games become less sought after. As companies like Microsoft pledge support for older consoles — even when new ones are out — people are less incentivized to dump their old hardware.

GameStop is basically an upscale flea market for used gaming products right now, and is reliant on those products being traded and sold in mass quantities. For it to survive, it really, really needs to find some other way to make a significant amount of money — or we can look forward to seeing more disappointing reports like this.