"If you want to understand GameStop, you must understand refurbishment," says GameStop CEO Paul Raines. It's not the most evocative mission statement, but it's brought me to Grapevine, Texas, where Raines is speaking. Behind the tall executive lies a 182,000-square-foot facility filled with workers who are polishing discs, piecing together video game consoles, and rigorously testing pre-owned iPads, iPhones, iPods and Android tablets. It's called the Refurbishment Operations Center, or ROC for short, and GameStop is giving us a first-hand tour of the $7 million facility.

Somewhere in here, amidst the shattered screens and broken drive trays, lies the future of retail.