GameStop pulling out of Nordic countries

Avatar image for isomeri
isomeri

3362

Forum Posts

296

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 20

#1  Edited By isomeri

GameStop have announced a decision to "wind down operations" in Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland. The last stores in these countries are scheduled to be shut down by the end of 2020.

In what seems to be an immediate result of this decision, GameStop have stopped accepting used consoles in their trade-in programs in Finland at least. I wasn't able to find a public statement on this matter, but all mentions of trading in consoles have been removed from GameStop's Finnish site.

While GameStop's leadership is blaming the elongated console cycle as the reason for their financial woes, I can't help but to think why they decided to pull out of the Nordic countries specifically. Internet connections in these countries are faster, more widely available and cheaper than in almost any other part of the world. It would make sense then that adoption of digital game stores would be more prevalent in these countries.

There are no great stats available on the matter, but I was able to find a story by the Finnish MTV News mentioning that the sale of physical games in Finland had dropped from 92 million euros in 2010 to 52 million euros in 2015. Considering that the PS4 and Xbox One with their digital storefronts were only released in this country in 2013-2014, I can only imagine that the decline of physical game sales has accelerated after 2015.

Avatar image for kraznor
kraznor

1645

Forum Posts

14136

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 5

User Lists: 12

I hadn't heard this, thank-you for posting.

Are you in this region yourself? Just wondering whether this would be a bummer for those hunting for older used games or if there are plenty of smaller stores that do that. I guess online shopping negates the necessity but I like poking around for stuff in person.

Avatar image for zaccheus
zaccheus

2134

Forum Posts

36

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 5

I have wondered for a few years how long GameStop is going to be around in Finland. Maybe this will make space for a few independent stores.

Avatar image for rahf
Rahf

644

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Sign of the times in Scandinavia. Niche boutiques may have a chance, but there are big hits to most big chains in all sectors.

Sad thing is that the winners are companies chasing the bottom in terms of pricing. Inevitably this has a poor effect on their employee politics, at least the ones that are easily replaceable.

Avatar image for bonelessspirit
BonelessSpirit

221

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

People just don't buy physical copies of games anymore.

Avatar image for seikenfreak
Seikenfreak

1707

Forum Posts

8

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 7

Avatar image for ares42
Ares42

4451

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Coming from someone living in a small town in Norway where there was a GameStop for a little while, they just got out-competed. Every town has electronic stores selling consoles, and so they also sell games. And they sell games at cost since it draws customers to their store. GameStop depending on making a profit from games just couldn't compete with that.

(also, not to mention that every GameStop I've been to in Norway has been a shitty little store that only employs teenagers who couldn't care less. And I have multiple bad shopping experiences from their stores.)

Avatar image for krummi
krummi

123

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 3

@kraznor said:

I hadn't heard this, thank-you for posting.

Are you in this region yourself? Just wondering whether this would be a bummer for those hunting for older used games or if there are plenty of smaller stores that do that. I guess online shopping negates the necessity but I like poking around for stuff in person.

I've preferred the smaller shops here (Finland) always against Gamestop. We have a few, can think of four, small local chains that are represented in bigger cities that always seemed to have better options if one ever wanted a physical copy of a game (special editions for example, or a gift).

Avatar image for fisk0
fisk0

7222

Forum Posts

62354

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 74

#9 fisk0  Moderator

I live in Stockholm, Sweden, and haven't seen a Gamestop store in years, there used to be three of them in the central district, as well as in all the major malls, but all the ones I've been aware of have disappeared in the last few years. It's possible the one by the Globe arena is still around, though I haven't passed by in a long time, there's definitely no store left within the city centre at least.

Avatar image for baka_shinji17
baka_shinji17

1510

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 14

First the Nords drove out the Imperials, now GameStop. When will it end?

Avatar image for glots
glots

4825

Forum Posts

74

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Last time I went to a Gamestop was around 2016, so not exactly a big loss for me. I still buy physical console games, but basically only from online stores.

Definitely curious over how long we'll still have independent game stores around here.

Avatar image for deckard
deckard

393

Forum Posts

4

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 6

Don’t worry Nordic countries, the way things are going GameStop will be pulling out of every country before too long.

Avatar image for rorie
rorie

7027

Forum Posts

1263

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1

User Lists: 3

#13 rorie  Moderator

I believe they just had their earnings call and everything was looking pretty dire. The rumors were that they were going to be shutting down a LOT of stores, at least in the U.S., but that might happen after the holidays or perhaps they'll just roll the dice and see how 2020 treats them with the new consoles.

Avatar image for isomeri
isomeri

3362

Forum Posts

296

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 20

@kraznor said:

I hadn't heard this, thank-you for posting.

Are you in this region yourself? Just wondering whether this would be a bummer for those hunting for older used games or if there are plenty of smaller stores that do that. I guess online shopping negates the necessity but I like poking around for stuff in person.

Like @krummi said, GameStop has competed with small local chains for years now and I haven't seen those chains really reduce their store count much in recent years. Those local chains will still continue to support the used games market. In addition, online auction sites have for a long time been a much cheaper and often more efficient place to sell and buy used games. Finland for example is one of the most sparsely populated countries in Europe, so the convenience of being able to ship games from household to household via mail us often more convenient than going to a store.

Avatar image for hansberg
hansberg

219

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

#15 hansberg  Online

@rorie: This is almost a certainty at this point. They made some ridiculous decisions last quarter that only made the 25% drop in revenue look even worse. I imagine that the next quarter's results, which if I'm not mistaken will be the year end results, will be the point at which we'll hear how many stores will close.

If Black Friday and Christmas are as bleak for them as 3rd quarter turned out to be then they will probably need to make some choices. From what I recall from last month the only game in their Black Friday flyer that was notable for being a better deal than their competitors was Anthem at $5, which wouldn't exactly draw the crowds that they would need at this point.

Avatar image for icemael
Icemael

6891

Forum Posts

40352

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 20

User Lists: 20

#16  Edited By Icemael

@fisk0: There's one in Liljeholmen, although it's tiny and every time I walk past it seems like half the store is filled with game-related toys etc. rather than actual games.

I don't see that these kinds of chains fill much of a function anymore, at least not here in Scandinavia. Even if you want physical games there are online retailers (both international ones like Amazon, and domestic ones like Spelbutiken here in Sweden) that offer prices that are at least as good, deliver games to your mailbox on release day, offer the same kind of used games service as GameStop (but with a much larger assortment of old games than any single physical store can offer) etc.

Niche stores that offer something unique would be cool to have around, but I'm not sure there's much of a market even for that. Years ago there was one in Stockholm called SuperMotaro that had imported Japanese games and even some arcade cabinets with games ranging from popular classics (e.g. Garou, Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike, Metal Slug 2) to more niche stuff like shmups by Eighting and Cave (e.g. Battle Garegga, Espgaluda II, Dodonpachi Daifukkatsu Black Label). They had some meetups and events, too. It was extremely cool but closed down pretty quickly.

Avatar image for fisk0
fisk0

7222

Forum Posts

62354

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 74

#17 fisk0  Moderator

@icemael: Oh, alright, haven't been to Liljeholmen in a while, noticed a month or so ago that the one at Karlaplan is gone. The one in Kista disappeared a few years ago, Gallerian and Jakobsberg maybe 7-8 years ago. Back when they were called Tradition I think there was one around Gamla Stan, Slussen or Medborgarplatsen too, but that's been gone for a very long time now along with the one at NK.

Yeah, SuperMotaro, Spelbiten and Stockholms Film- och seriehandel had great stores (the latter a pretty big selection of C64, Amiga and Atari ST games too). Liked Gameshop in Solna too, but after they moved five or so years ago they seemed to get rid of all their niche stuff.

Avatar image for Hilfemaster
Hilfemaster

140

Forum Posts

4506

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 3

User Lists: 13

Did not got here often since they charged 700kr for a new game (ca. 70 € at current exchange rate) and 2/3 of the store was funcopops and fortnite merchandise. I was asked if I wanted to buy "disc insurance" on a terrible ps4 game that was on sale for 75kr. Shame there are no real alternatives in Oslo that I know of at least.

Avatar image for mrgreenman
MrGreenMan

386

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

You know your company is in trouble when Hot Topic looks less tacky then a Game Stop

Avatar image for bigsocrates
bigsocrates

3371

Forum Posts

93

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

#20  Edited By bigsocrates

Game Stop is a chain built for another time in retail trying to sell physical copies of digital goods to the mass market. It's pretty much as doomed as Blockbuster unless it changes in some way to add value (which it has tried to do with collectibles, to not much effect.) It just fundamentally doesn't offer a lot to its customers, and it's also famously hostile to customers in many ways from offering a pittance for game trade-ins to constantly pushing worthless warranties to demanding that people pre-order new games if they actually want them when they launch.

They thought they had a captive audience and decided that the best thing to do was to try and milk them. Then the audience escaped and now they don't know how to make people actually want to shop there. I sure don't!

Avatar image for pezen
Pezen

2531

Forum Posts

14

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

#21  Edited By Pezen

@ares42: That is exactly my experience here in Sweden as well. Hell, just the other week me and my girlfriend was in one by chance since she wanted to buy some gift cards (Nintendo E-Shop) for her siblings. And I overheard the dude working there, while not a teen, telling my girlfriend he had no idea if they worked on Switch and instead said ”Kids with Switch buys these and they know better than I do.” That kind of lack of knowledge about the product they are selling doesn’t really fill customers that isn’t themselves knowledgable with a ton of trust to shop there again.

And like you, I have had a ton of bad experiences in those stores even when I didn’t buy something. I just gave up on them a long time ago.

Avatar image for isomeri
isomeri

3362

Forum Posts

296

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 20

From what I heard the working conditions at GameStop have gotten worse too. Friends who used to work there a few years ago said that already then the chain was counting on young people to work there because they had a passion for games and for them to ignore the shitty pay and working conditions. I've heard it's only gotten worse recently and you can see that in most stores they've cut staff from a few employees to just having one person run the whole store for most of the day.