GameStop Conference Call Shows Executives Downplaying COVID-19

Can’t GameStop, Won’t GameStop

As we all know, GameStop has recently closed its stores, shortly after the Californian governor’s mandated closure of all non-essential retail due to the COVID-19 outbreak. A few days ago, a YouTuber called Camelot331 supposedly sneaked on to a conference call with GameStop executives and heard some pretty unsettling things. Now, I’ll be the first to say this, but there is no concrete evidence that this GameStop conference call is authentic, so take this with a grain of salt. However, the things that are being said are in line with what GameStop employees have been saying.

GameStop Conference Call

On this call, the first thing that was mentioned is that things like store visits from regional managers would be cancelled, but they would be in contact through email and phone. Basically, the stores would remain open, leaving employees at risk, but higher-ups would be staying home and working from there. The stock of sanitation products was also addressed, but in a “too little, too late” kind of way. It was said that more cleansers, wipes, and hand sanitizers would be arriving at stores “next week”. Given the timeline of this call, “next week” supposedly means the week of March 23. By then the stores have already been closed. Plus, there is no mention of what employees should be doing during “this week” of the call.

There was also a warning to managers to be careful about where they get their information. The speaker on the call says that the valid information comes from the “provincial, federal government, myself” etc. This is very concerning, for obvious reasons. This person is in the business of making sure their stores operate, not keeping people healthy. One of the braver managers asks what will happen if employees are in a position where they “are forced to choose between their livelihood and their personal health”, meaning if they are self-isolating at home, will they be compensated for their time spent away from work. The wording of the answer is very disturbing. They said that they “would not be able to pay wages for everyone who chose not to work.”

Camelot331 breaks down this conference call in more detail in his video. This call is likely from a regional manager in Ontario, Canada, what with the mention of a provincial government, and I believe what I heard was the Peel region, which is in Ontario. You may have heard, EB Games in Toronto made local news for staying open for the release of Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Doom Eternal. The staff limited the number of people in the store, but long line ups gathered on Yonge St. Just one day after those major releases, GameStop has closed their stores. Funny that.

What do you make of this conference call? Let us know in the comments below.

Source: YouTube