Pokemon Go Is Even Helping GameStop, Here's How
"We're very happy to see all this excitement around Pokemon in what is traditionally a slower time of the year for video games."
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Pokemon Go is helping companies big and small improve their business. Last week, we learned about a pizza place whose sales surged as a result of the game, and now, GameStop CEO Paul Raines has explained his company is also benefiting from the smartphone title.
Appearing on CNBC today, Raines said hundreds of its stores are designated as Poke Stops and Gyms, which has brought more people to them and in turn increased sales.
"We surveyed our stores, and we had 462 stores just this past weekend that are Pokemon Stops or Poke Gyms, so we did some family events and our sales were up 100 percent in those stores," he said.
Raines didn't say what the 100 percent figure is compared against, but whatever the case, it's a pretty dramatic swing.
GameStop's Pokemon merchandise business is also "up significantly across the board," Raines revealed, adding that GameStop (which owns ThinkGeek) is the largest distributor of Pokemon games and collectibles in the world.
"We're very happy to see all this excitement around Pokemon in what is traditionally a slower time of the year for video games," Raines said. "It's really great to see Pokemon and Nintendo re-investing in that IP. It's great to see [the Pokemon franchise] transitioning over into the mobile space."
In the case of the pizza place, the owners bought Pokemon Go lure items to attract creatures to the store, which in turn brought in more customers. Whether or not GameStop also did this is unclear.
We've followed up with the retailer to see what further plans it might have in the works to support Pokemon Go in the future. GameStop has no way of profiting directly from Pokemon Go, as it's a free-to-play game, but the company is now a mobile phone retailer. Additionally, GameStop sells iTunes gift cards.
Pokemon Go remains at the top of the charts on iTunes in the free and top-grossing categories, a position it's held since release earlier this month.
For more on Pokemon Go, check out GameSpot's review.
This story has been updated and corrected.