GameStop tells employees it's 'essential' and can stay open during lockdowns

Mariella Moon
Associate Editor
Spencer Platt via Getty Images

GameStop insists it can remain open even if its stores' locations are under lockdown due to the coronavirus outbreak. According to Kotaku and Vice, it sent a memo to employees, telling them that its stores don't have to shut down because it believes its business is classified as "essential retail." Local government units across the US are issuing orders to close non-essential retail businesses -- shops like grocery stores, gas stations and drugstores are considered essential and therefore won't have to cease operations.

In a memo the company sent, it explained that it believes it's an essential business since the products it carries "enable and enhance [its] customers' experience in working from home." The memo even includes instructions on what to do in case law enforcement officers attempt to enforce closure. It told store managers to hand officers a flyer with a number for GameStop's corporate office. The flyer reads:

"Thank you for what you are doing to keep us all safe. If you have questions about our store's hours, operations or policies could I ask you to please call our corporate office:

GameStop Corporate Office
844-993-3145

Thank you for understanding."

Whether the tactic will actually work -- and whether employees will actually comply and defy authorities for their employer -- remains to be seen. GameStop released Doom Eternal a day early as a safety precaution, seeing as it was supposed to be released on the same day as Animal Crossing: New Horizons. However, Kotaku says employees are worried, because it's taken "little to no measures" to prevent further outbreak.