The GameStop concept began with the Atari video game, and its roots lie in a Texas shopping center. Gary Cusin and James McCurry opened Babbage’s in 1983 to sell Atari titles at low prices. They also sold personal computer programs. Several stores followed, but GameStop is the oldest and most successful. Today, it has more than 700 locations nationwide. Here’s where to find one near you.
Cohen Visits a GameStop Store in Virginia
Recently, Cohen visited a GameStop store in Virginia, where he expressed frustration with dirty shelves, empty racks, and rude employees. He argued that GameStop should focus on improving its stores and customer service instead of trying to revive its stock market value. While the CEO’s remarks are undoubtedly well-meaning, he may be in over his head. Cohen has made a name for himself in the retail industry, and he is not related to Ryan Cohen, the CEO of Sears Canada.
While he is a full-time trader, Cohen made several unannounced visits to GameStop stores. He wore a casual disguise and didn’t announce his true identity while in the stores. Cohen observed a few issues, including dusty shelves, product-empty shelves, and unfriendly customer service. However, he noted a few positive developments for GameStop.
The retailer’s name has become synonymous with many things. Its stock has fallen 40% in the past decade, partly because of the rise of online retailing. Cohen’s appointment to the Board of Directors earlier this year also helped spark a stock-buying frenzy as smaller investors challenged hedge funds’ massive short positions in the company. Originally, GameStop shares sold for $20 apiece, but since then, the company has cut back on underperforming stores and has reorganized its operations. By the end of January, GameStop shares were trading at $480 a share. On Monday, shares closed for about $200 and are still up 970% this year.
Although Cohen praised the company’s leadership team, he also noted its recent changes. Among them is appointing a chief technology officer, hiring executives to oversee e-commerce and customer care, and appointing a new chief financial officer. Both Attal and Wolf are tech veterans, and they have extensive experience in consumer electronics and retail management. They both joined GameStop’s strategic committee.
Cohen Plans to Hire New People
Since coming aboard as the new CEO of GameStop, Michael Cohen has been obsessive about customer service, including improving the website and the online ordering system. His ultimate goal is to turn GameStop into the Chewy of the gaming world, according to sources. Among the changes Cohen plans to make at GameStop are hiring new employees and refurbishing existing locations. However, some retail veterans remain skeptical about Cohen’s plans.
The company’s plight has forced Cohen to take steps to improve its customer service. He’s hired Kelli Durkin, a former vice president of Chewy, to revamp GameStop’s customer service department. According to Cohen, the team has been instructed to listen to customers and use positive language, while at the same time training employees on the importance of listening. The board is also reviewing GameStop’s website and plans to hire more people for the company’s online business.
With the billions of dollars the company will receive over the next twelve to 18 months, Cohen plans to invest heavily in e-commerce, and it may tap the equity market to raise additional funds. Cohen co-founded online pet supplies company Chewy in 2011 and served as CEO from 2011 to 2018. At age 25, he received his first outside investment, from Volition Capital, in 2013. In 2016 and 2017, other investors joined the company.
While Cohen’s new strategy has the potential to create more jobs, it’s important for shareholders to remember that GameStop has been struggling for more than a decade and has closed over 811 stores over the last 15 months. The company has roughly 3,000 stores in the United States and more than 1,600 in Europe. Although Cohen has visited about a dozen GameStop stores, most employees have never heard of him.
In addition to hiring new employees at GameStop, Cohen plans to rehire existing employees. Employees have long complained that GameStop’s low wages and benefits made the work environment difficult. The company’s stock prices rose to record heights in June. In addition, GameStop sold $1.1 billion worth of new stock, which a company manager described as “bullshit.” Employees say the stock sales have hardly made a dent in GameStop’s finances. The company has a two-year pay freeze and pays minimum wage, which is below the industry’s average.
Earlier this month, GameStop announced plans to appoint Cohen as the company’s new chairman. The move drew praise from Reddit traders. GameStop has also made three new hires in the last month, including a former Amazon executive. The move comes after the resignation of Frank Hamlin, chief customer officer. These new executives will lead GameStop’s executive team, as well as oversee the company’s operations.
Cohen Wants to Improve Customer Service
As the chairman of GameStop and a major stakeholder, Ryan Cohen is determined to improve customer service at game stops near me. While at one game store, Cohen found shelves stacked with dust, racks of empty games, and inattentive employees. He intends to improve customer service at these stores and create new sections that cater to different types of customers. According to reports, Cohen has been visiting GameStop retail stores across the country unannounced and observing their operations.
The founder of online pet food company Chewy, Ryan Cohen has been lobbying GameStop to move more of its business online. In January, Cohen was added to the GameStop board. During that time, small investors bought cheap stock in GameStop, which boosted the stock price. But Wall Street saw this as an opportunity to “short” GameStop’s ambitious bet against Amazon.
In January, GameStop announced Cohen would join its board, a move that contributed to a surge in GameStop stock following a Reddit slew of negative press. He will assume the role of chairman in June. Before becoming chairman, Cohen co-founded Chewy and served as its CEO until 2018.
GameStop’s stock shot up 34% Monday after the company’s chairman revealed that he had nearly a 10% stake in the popular retailer. Cohen’s company is now the biggest shareholder in Bed Bath & Beyond. The retailer’s shares rose 40% in early trading Monday, but dropped back to 34% at midday. However, he didn’t stop there. He is holding the board of directors to account for their actions.
As chairman of GameStop, Cohen is already making major changes. His strategy involves a shift from being a brick and mortar store to being a technology company, focused on e-commerce, and bringing more customers to the store. Cohen’s investment firm holds 12.9% of GameStop, so his plans are clearly in the long term. If Cohen’s plans work out, GameStop can expect to improve its customer service.