GameStop Tries To Keep Its Business Going During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Though GameStop announced last week that it would close its stores and sell gaming products digitally (along with offering curbside pickups) due to the coronavirus pandemic, employees in Massachusetts were reportedly told on Friday to head into work and use plastic bags to cover their hands so that they can give purchased games to customers.
This was despite an emergency order issued by the state’s governor earlier this week that didn’t identify the gaming retailer as an essential service that can operate during the pandemic.
According to what a GameStop manager told The Boston Globe, employees were instructed to “wrap a plastic bag around one hand to protect it from exposure to the virus, open the door a crack, and take the customer’s credit card” and then “run the card with a hand still encased in the bag, flip the bag inside out, leaving the card inside, put the purchase in the bag, and hand it back through the door.”
The manager who spoke to the Boston newspaper said that this work policy was “infuriating”, adding that he had to “make a choice between doing a job that nobody needs during a pandemic and not being paid, and possibly infecting people or being infected.”
“We know for a fact the disease is contagious even when you’re asymptomatic,” he said. Other Massachusetts employees contacted by The Boston Globe confirmed that customers could come to GameStop and pay for games with credit cards.
When asked for comment, the gaming retailer didn’t confirm or deny that this work policy existed and didn’t address the potential emergency order violation but did say that its employees “have been assured that they do not have to work if they are not comfortable, or need to stay home to care for a family member.”
This news comes as GameStop announced during a recent earnings call that it plans to close at least 320 of its stores later this year in order to cut budget costs.