Earlier this year, GameStop announced that it would experiment with new store layouts–focused around eSports, retro games, and more–at some of its locations in the United States. Now, video has emerged from one of these “pilot” stores that shows the new look–and it’s quite dramatic.
The GameStop store in Pryor, Oklahoma posted a video to Facebook earlier this month that shows off what appears to be one of the “retro” pilot stores. The first thing you may notice is that the layout appears to be sleeker and more modern-looking, with the POS registers in the middle.
Also immediately noticeable is how the store appears to have been designed to encourage people to spend more time in there than normal. There is a couch with a big-screen TV at the front, and CRT TVs at the back with retro systems like GameCube, Nintendo 64, and Original Xbox connected for multiplayer sessions.
This all appears to be part of GameStop’s ambition to become the “local church” of gaming. GameStop chief customer officer Frank Hamlin told GameSpot that the new store designs are meant to “celebrate video game culture in real life.”
“It is a really powerful thing to witness. My question around GameStop is, if you take the analogy of that Vatican, or Mecca, or the Wailing Wall, why isn’t GameStop the local church, synagogue, or mosque?” he explained.
IGN was first to report on the new GameStop store layouts in Pryor, Oklahoma. The site also confirmed the authenticity of the Facebook video.
During an earnings call earlier this month, GameStop management confirmed that its pilot stores will be located in the Tulsa, Oklahoma area. Pryor is about 45 minutes outside of Tulsa.
GameStop’s share price is close to an all-time low, due to a number of factors. For the latest quarter, company saw its total global sales fall 14.3 percent to $1.3 billion. GameStop posted a net loss of $415.3 million for the quarter, which is far worse than the $24.9 million that the company lost during the same period last year.
Looking to the future, GameStop said it expects total sales to continue to be down in multiple consecutive quarters to come, as the industry awaits the launch of next-generation consoles in Holiday 2020.
In 2018, GameStop attempted to sell itself, but the company canceled those plans in February.