GameStop has laid off a number of district managers, sources tell Polygon, as part of a middle-management cost-cutting exercise. According to multiple sources, the company recently cut as many as 10 district managers, whose job was to monitor multiple stores and supervise store managers. The layoffs could mean additional work for already stretched-thin GameStop employees.
Two sources told us that managers who were previously tasked with handling around a dozen stores are now handling more than 20, spanning greater geographical areas than previously. Some of those who lost their jobs had been serving at the retail giant for more than a decade. Recruitment site Indeed lists GameStop district managers as “similar to an innovative business entrepreneur and owner,” and as “leaders of their district’s performance development strategy.”
GameStop employees report extreme pressure from ‘desperate’ bosses
We contacted GameStop for confirmation and comment, but have not yet received a reply.
The move comes at a time when GameStop is suffering from its lowest stock price in years. The stock is currently trading at just over $3.50, down from $11.70 a year ago. As recently as five years ago, GameStop stock traded comfortably in the $40-$50 range.
Ratings agency Moody’s recently downgraded the company’s debt to junk status. According to Moody’s, GameStop suffers from “sustained competitive threats from downloadable, streaming, and subscription gaming services … during a period of industry weakness.”
Our recent report demonstrated how company managers are pressuring stores to raise revenues, with a special emphasis on trading cell phones, and selling subscriptions to value services. We spoke to more than a dozen store workers who expressed broadly negative views of the company’s future. One long-serving manager predicted that more than a thousand stores would close this year, a prediction that’s been echoed by other sources, following the district management lay-offs.
Last year, the company announced more than 200 store closures. Some store managers have contacted Polygon, while others have posted on Reddit, suggesting that more closures are coming, possibly as soon as April.
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