GameStop is closing its California retail stores until “further notice,” according to Kotaku, only a day after the video game retailer instructed all of its US employees to disregard coronavirus-related lockdowns.
“We are closing our stores in California,” GameStop said in a letter to stores leaked to Kotaku. “The closure will remain in effect until further notice as we obtain more information from the California Governor’s Office.” Kotaku also notes that GameStop will not pay its employees during the shutdown, though some may be able to use personal time off.
GameStop defended its decision to stay open claiming it’s “essential retail”
Yesterday, Governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order requiring all California residents to “stay home or at their place of residence.” To help minimize the spread of the virus, many states across the US have shut down businesses from bars to theme parks. However, “essential businesses” like grocery stores remain open to aid Americans who need to restock on essential supplies.
On Thursday, GameStop defended its decision to stay open, claiming its business is “essential retail.” Instead of instructing its employees to stay home, GameStop said that it is “instituting multiple social distancing practices,” such as “providing all [its] stores with the necessary supply of disinfectant materials and hand sanitizer,” limiting stores to 10 customers at a time and suspending trade-ins until March 29th.
The Verge has reached out to GameStop for comment.