GameStop announced yesterday the plan to close 200 stores before the end of 2019, after suffering a massive $32 million, as well as a quarter of declining sales. GameStop chief financial officer released a statement and said the drop in sales is tied to the end of a hardware cycle. It's now another quarter with a serious double-digit decline. GameStop reported that for the quarter ending March 2019, they faced a 13.3 sales decline and the stock price fell 40 percent in a single trading day, still slowly recovering.

Fox 10 Phoenix reported that GameStop CFO James Bell the closures will impact between 180-to-200 underperforming stores between now and the end of the year. According to the company's annual report, the company has 5,830 locations worldwide, including 4,000 in the United States and Canada. Bell held an earnings call yesterday saying that approximately 95 percent of the stores were profitable. However, do expect more closures over the next year or two.

GameStop being hurt by digital sales

GameStop has become one of the most dedicated video game retailers in the industry, but has suffered a prolonged decline, often attributed to the increase of online sales and digital distribution of Video Games, which takes a financial bite out of brick-and-mortar stores, and gets rid of the circulation of used games, GameStop's major component of their stock. Sony's recent announcement that retail partners would no longer be allowed to sell download codes for PlayStation 4 games, which also hurts GameStop's bottom line.

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GameStop ended up laying off over 100 employees, including half the staff of their Game Informer magazine, which has been owned by GameStop since 2000. The company is in the midst of a restructuring, being called the "GameStop Reboot." The latest round of layoffs is part of GameStop's three-phase plan. The first phase addresses the issues surrounding lowering salaries, taxes and other non-production costs.

'GameStop Reboot' aimed at revitalizing GameStop stores

GameStop is working at rebranding itself as a cultural hub for gamers, with a new generous return policy, as well as hosting game culture events. Financial analysts including Mike Hickey is not impressed by the plan. Mike Hickey of Benchmark Company, took part in the GameStop earnings call, and called the company's reboot as a "Chernobyl experience."

Hickey said that the new management team at GameStop will no longer dominate the gaming industry, and it's highly doubtful that they will find a way to gain market share on PC against Steam and Epic.

Gamers will have to sit back and wait to see what happens. Some are hoping that with PlayStation's announcement that their new console in the coming years, will be backwards-compatible, means that there will be a draw to buy used games.

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