GameStop to Pilot Customer-Centric Store Layouts

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In an effort to create unique in-store experiences, Texas-based video game retailer GameStop—the 11th-ranked retailer in Dealerscope’s Top 101 CE Retailers list—announced a partnership with global innovation design firm R/GA. GameStop said that, through the partnership, it hopes to reaffirm its place in video gaming culture by offering “innovative customer-centric opportunities” in neighborhoods throughout the country.

GameStop has already been hard at work with R/GA, researching what drives consumers to play video games. The brands identified four motivating factors: immersion, achievement, creativity, and community; and they hope to use that data to develop new physical retail store concepts. GameStop said that these new stores will provide gamers with new ways to try titles before they buy them, and they’ll utilize new layouts to offer competitive sessions for home-grown e-Leagues. Additionally, there will be some stores that will strictly offer retro gaming software and hardware. The new pilot store concepts will launch in a yet-to-be-announced location (perhaps Chicago or Austin, near R/GA’s offices) as GameStop aims to present gamers both veteran and noobies with experiences beyond just the traditional video game console.

“We’re on a journey to use our vast retail footprint to provide an engaging and well-thought-out experience that enhances our consumers’ gaming interests,” Frank Hamlin, Chief Customer Officer at GameStop, said in a statement. “Among its many strengths is R/GA’s ability to leverage consumer insights and technology to reimagine the experience our consumers can have in our physical space. Our investment in this partnership is the next stage of our transformation and growth strategy.”

According to R/GA’s research for GameStop, they found that video games are “no longer just a form of entertainment, but are a fundamental part of the fabric of a modern customer’s life.” Consumers believe that gaming is the most immersive, challenging, creative, and inclusive form of entertainment and storytelling available. And, in some cases, the consumer believes gaming is an important facet of their identity, according to R/GA.

“GameStop has always had a role in the gaming ecosystem,” Candice Hahn, SVP, Managing Director at R/GA’s Austin office, said in the statement. “We’re focused on filling the needs and desires of gamers, and amplifying the core assets of the business, to turn GameStop into a reimagined format for its consumer base of today and tomorrow.”

The partnership with R/GA is part of GameStop’s broader business transformation strategy to evolve into a more customer-focused and -centric retailer. The brand, which achieved $6.69 billion in sales last year, has attempted a number of business-based shakeups over the years, including a loyalty service, a video game rental service, and collectibles-themed locations.

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