GameStop moving beyond games, preparing for the future

CEO Paul Raines says company looking to markets like the Apple ecosystem and the wireless field for growth opportunities as part of "GameStop 3.0" initiative.

GameStop may be most commonly associated with video games, but it may not always be that way. During GameStop's Investor Day 2014 event this week, the retailer spoke at length about the next evolution of the retailer, which it is calling "GameStop 3.0."

Games are already big business for GameStop, and CEO Paul Raines said this sector is expected to grow on the backs of the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Wii U. But at the same time, the retailer is setting its sights on much larger markets. Some of the "addressable markets" that GameStop is eyeing for future growth (in addition to physical and digital games) Raines said, are the recommerce market for non-gaming tech devices, the "Apple ecosystem," and the biggest of them all, the wireless market.

GameStop is already invested in the Apple ecosystem in that it buys, sells, and accepts trades for various iOS devices at its stores. The company also owns Simply Mac, a sales and service specialist. Raines went on to say that it plans to expand the Simply Mac brand, and with the blessing of Apple to boot.

"We have spent a lot of time in Cupertino with Apple leadership and we have their support to grow Simply Mac," Raines said.

"Connected devices are forecast to go from $8 billion today to $50 billion in five years...the wireless growth opportunity for GameStop is only beginning" --GameStop CEO Paul Raines

Concerning the wireless market, GameStop owns AT&T specialist Spring Mobile, and it also operates numerous Cricket Wireless stores in the United States. Raines boasted that GameStop is in fact the third largest AT&T deal in the US.

The "wireless market is perhaps the most exciting market in the consumer space," Raines said. He went on to note that, "connected devices are forecast to go from $8 billion today to $50 billion in five years. And many will be sold in a store and available for trade and refurbishment at GameStop. The wireless growth opportunity for GameStop is only beginning."

Raines added that GameStop's all-important buy/sell/trade model can apply to all of these new markets.

Also during the presentation, Raines said the GameStop executive team has looked at other businesses that have moved into new markets to help it understand how best to do the same. He said cookware retailer Williams-Sonoma is a good example, as it successfully acquired Pottery Barn in 1986, and launched Pottery Barn Kids in 1999 and furniture store West Elm in 2003.

Raines also called out VF Corporation, which began as an underwear company before taking on brands like Lee, Jansport, Timberland, and Wrangler, among others.

Somewhat interestingly, a slide on Raines' presentation pointed out that VF Corporation later sold its original underwear brand to Fruit of the Loom in 2007. It's too early to say if GameStop will eventually get out of gaming altogether, but it's clear that GameStop is attempting to diversify its portfolio so that if such a day comes, the company will not only survive, but thrive.

"So we are students of extraordinary business transformation stories. Williams Sonoma and VF are great examples to us of the potential of understanding your consumers and matching that insight to your own core competencies."

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Did you enjoy this article?

Sign In to Upvote

eddienoteddy

Eddie Makuch

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.
114 comments
brian_chapman
brian_chapman

you guys are just mad because gamestop is richer either by their games or hop off their fuckin tip and move on with life its that simple I love gamestop

sortinghat
sortinghat

It's a good thing I ordered a new power pack for my PC before parts are no longer sold!.   Just like it's impossible to find old computers that play older software (before Vista) it is soon going to be impossible to find computers period as the industry wants people to think it's phones or game consoles. 


Hint. PC's are more then just a gaming machine but sadly the entertainment industry wants us to think it's too difficult to use a PC anymore instead of training people to help others ease into it.


Dad and I tried using Virtual Machine stuff to run Windows 98 but none of it will accept software with multiple discs.  We spent an entire weekend trying solutions to get it to read including using an external floppy *as modern computers don't have em*

lewishim666
lewishim666

Gamestop needs to go the F out of business. They rip people off. At least people that have small game shops around them are smart enough to shop there. Usually at small stores you have to pay more. But nope Gamestop charges more then anyone else and their service sucks. So small stores are the way to go. Gamestop GTFO already. The only reason people shop at Gamestop is because they have to. They either don't have any other shop close or they simply don't have an alternative. That's why they get away with all their shit. No body likes them. Hell their employee even hate them. The ones that are gamers at least. Hell they even except Apple products for trades that's how bad they've got. Shilling the most overpriced products out there that have no reason to be that expensive especially when they are inferior to competitors devices. Gamestop could give me a free cellphone and free service for the rest of my life and I wouldn't take it. I hope people are smart enough not to support this new venture so they have no choice but to go out of business. The world really would be a better place for us gamers at least. It appears like it would also be better for everyone with a cellphone (everyone but your grandma) too. Please people don't support their Fing up of another business.

sortinghat
sortinghat

@lewishim666  You're right but Obama offers free phones if you sell you're soul!   Who needs gamestop!!!

mariokarthero
mariokarthero

I first heard this news via watching AlphaOmegaSin. I think that this is a retarded idea!!! GameStop are gonna suffer the consequences for this stupidity!!!

Megavideogamer
Megavideogamer

If the all digital download future does happen. Gamestop or what ever they will be named is a least preparing their future. 

PixelAddict
PixelAddict

It's smart of them to adapt. They saw what happened to Blockbuster, and realize this could happen to them and the gaming industry, too.

Heck, until a few years ago I bet a lot of the Gamestops shared parking lots with Blockbuster stores.

enoslives7
enoslives7

I've heard they are gonna start selling used clothes. 


elaisse2
elaisse2

So basically they are turning into radioshack?

sortinghat
sortinghat

@elaisse2 Turning? They always were *Radio Shack* for games.   I miss EB and Babbages.

GSGuy321
GSGuy321

Apple is garbage.. People are starving for OPEN platforms not closed ones.

sortinghat
sortinghat

@GSGuy321 Nothing new there.   When I was first born in the mid 80s Dad looked for a Commdore 64 as they had a lot of educational variety software that was better then anything else.  Apple only got popular because they gave away there machines to schools for free.  Before Apple schools had Commodore PET machines which had discounts for schools and trained teachers to use them as Commdores were easy to set up unlike Apple which DID NOT give you support other then RTFM and you pay twice as much for that response which a lot of *noobs* gave up or moved over to the Commodore which was user friendly.


Commdore 64 had more colors and sound while Apple only did *shades* of 4 colors.  Black,White,a  funny shade of green and red.    The founder's motto was "Computing Power at the hands of the people" where if you wanted to you could learn the machines secrets and people did all the way up to the late 90s there were some sites that were *Commodore* only on the web where if you didn't use the machine to connect you wouldn't be allowed in period.


I have a mini SCEPTRE TV we got for 120$ which you can hook anything including my computer too and we used our Commdore 64 to see if it would work and it actually is prettier now then the original TVs the Commodore's use. 


xtraflossy
xtraflossy

So underwear and pottery are their business model aspirations?

spilly42
spilly42

Why doesn't Gamestop just invest in becoming an online digital-downloadable retailer? I mean we have amazon and all that, but if you could become a digital retailer and lower prices and focus specifically on games, then I think you have a market. If there is a gamespot app on the Xbox One where I can go to buy a digital copy, and/or resell or trade in a digital copy, I feel like it could be a really streamlined and useful and profitable app. 

MXVIII
MXVIII

@spilly42  Gamestop has a digital market place. They bought the old Stardock platform, which is why Stardock games are on steam now.

exedeath
exedeath

GameStop better stay in business, so I have somewhere to purchase games. We have a Game Scape 20 miles away, and it carries less games than Wal Mart.

Lamesy
Lamesy

@14greenknight14 but you should be proud of yourself for "supporting" piratebay? look, everyone does it, but most of us don't delude ourselves with a false sense of moral impetus.
it's like in college when I would hear people saying they wanted to do drugs for spiritual or mind expansion -- dude be real, you just want to get wasted.

14greenknight14
14greenknight14

For everyone saying they need a place for games its called steam amazon eBay and piratesbay. Anyone shopping at GameStop or Walmart should be ashamed of them self for supporting those companies

sortinghat
sortinghat

@14greenknight14 Steam is evil.  Unless you find it hidden in the settings it will slow you're computer down as it wants to be the first thing on.  Dad who is our computer fix it man first notice my Windows 7 taking a very long time to load up and saw it was Steam doing it right away.


Since he stopped Steam from being the first to go online my computer has loaded much faster.  Heck even Origin doesn't screw up my computer unlike Steam.

foxrock66
foxrock66

And so it begins, like Blockbuster before them

Alastes
Alastes

GameStop 3.0 A.K.A Bankruptcy

PinchySkree
PinchySkree

"Wireless Field" is a way to dodge saying mobile.

DVONvX
DVONvX

Microsoft wants to go all-digital soon. Sony will let you stream PS3 games (and probably PS4 games soon) as well as let you rent them. Gamefly lets you rent games and keep them for as long as you want. Games are dirt cheap on amazon. My question is- how much longer can a leech business like gamestop possibly stay afloat with all these other, better, alternatives? 

gamestoreguy
gamestoreguy

It's too early to tell if this is the right direction to move but at least the company is trying to diversify itself.  The only type of company that is truly doomed to fail is the one that stands still refusing to evolve.  I still don't understand the rip-off statements.  Anyone that has sold anything to a dealer of some sort (be it cars, jewelry, etc..) understand how this work and those that keep saying that the company is doomed clearly hasn't looked at the quarterly and annual earnings statements.  There is a reason Gamestop is a Fortune 300 company.  If you don't like the company fine, everyone is entitled to their druthers.  People may want to get their facts straight before spouting opinion as gospel truth.  Just sayin...

KitchMurder
KitchMurder

In the mall accross the street, they are TWO gamestops. (One is a Gamestop, the other still has its EB games banner but it's the same thing.)


In the same mall are, two electronics shops, who also sell videogames, as well as a DVD store, who also sells videogame, and a Best Buy. Twenty meters away from this is a Futureshop.


I wouldn't be surprise to see one of those two GameStops close shop. 

KitchMurder
KitchMurder

Hey, I'm Canadian.


20 meters = 66 feet. Or something close to that.

sortinghat
sortinghat

@KitchMurder TWO Gamestops in the same mall AND a Futureshop not too far away yet somehow non of them are going out of business?

adub424
adub424

Wow I could get a used Apple product from GameStop wow I have never been raped by two companies at once before.

Nepti
Nepti

Interesting but I stopped shopping at gamestop because it takes forever and ever to buy something if even one person is in line in front of you and even if not, it takes forever and ever to get you checked out. Only the 1980s version of Radio Shack was slower. It's all the easier now too with Amazon and Steam.

Lamesy
Lamesy

@Nepti It's amazing how the company doesn't even see the problems created by their own overly aggressive upsell (preoders, subs) strategy.

Nepti
Nepti

@Lamesy @Nepti I don't really like that much myself. But I'm a free market guy and if it works and makes them profitable that's fine. My biggest beef with Gamestop (well, used to be when I'd go there) was really just how stupid long it took to buy anything.

sortinghat
sortinghat

@Nepti Sounds like FabricLand when they were around which used old techniques for checking people out that was slow and cumbersome.   

xcollector
xcollector

Apple is doomed without Steve. So the good news is Gamestop is doomed too if they expect Apple to save them.

vader501st
vader501st

"Moving to the future" by closing hundreds of stores.

Fuckwads.

blitzkriegexetv
blitzkriegexetv

Can't wait to watch this company close its doors for the last time.

Shenmue_Jehuty
Shenmue_Jehuty

So pretty much Gamestop is grasping at straws in order to stay relevant and financially viable over the next decade. Too bad many of these services and sources of revenue Gamestop is trying to woo its investors with is stuff that dozens of other companies do better. Gamestop is screwed, too bad it's 50+ years old non-gamer investors wont realize this until it is too late.

djpetitte
djpetitte

same stupid picture every gamestop article

BlazingSpeed
BlazingSpeed

If the upcoming digital doesn't nail you Gamestop hopefully the eventual angry customer backlash will...

dark_jedi79
dark_jedi79

A future without Gamestop sounds amazing. 

Jason_Rox
Jason_Rox

I buy all of my videogames at ToysRUS unless it's a game that I can't get sealed without paying a small fortune or if it's a collector's edition I can't get at TRU. Even still I try Amazon, eBay, Best Buy, etc. first. GameStop is always my LastStop. I like the people who work at my local one; they're a cut above the rest but still, GameStop in general is garbage.