Over the last weekend, employees at GameStop were surprised to hear that the company was receiving another shipment of PlayStation 5s. Unfortunately, this meant that stores were not properly prepared to handle the customer crowds that flooded in trying to snag the console. This has been an issue since the console’s release in November.
It has been nearly impossible for customers to get a hold of the PlayStation 5. Between the scalpers, scams and thefts, shoppers have been left without any means to purchase the console. Periodic restocks have led to website crashes and an increase in resellers and scalpers.
GameStop employees spoke to Bloomberg about the recent restock and told them that they had very short notice of the news. They were also open about the health risks that these overcrowded stores presented to themselves and their customers. Much like on Black Friday, customers were not respecting social distancing rules.
During this pandemic, many things have kept this console launch from really being able to take off. Factories had to be shut down, shipping has been slowed down and many countries have gone into a second lockdown. However, despite all of that, shoppers are desperate enough to risk all of that for a PlayStation 5.
According to Bloomberg, a GameStop manager shared the company email that announced this latest restock. The email announced that their store would be receiving 15 new consoles. This email got sent to the store just minutes before the company announced it to the public.
The email specified that orders for these consoles could only be placed in the store. Unfortunately that led to a huge crowd of about 40 people appearing at the store. They ignored social distancing guidelines and overwhelmed the employee in the store.
GameStop went on to explain the reasoning behind their last minute announcement. Their hope was to eliminate any scalpers from having a chance to grab all of the consoles up. It’s also why they made it an in-store only thing.
They also went on to make this statement. “We realize that in some situations our approach of notifying customers of this opportunity may have caused unintended reactions from both our associates and customers. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.”
It was also unfortunate timing for GameStop, as they are suffering from staffing shortages and store closures. For some time now, the digital gaming industry has been sapping business from retailers like GameStop. They expect to keep closing stores from now until 2022.
As the struggle for claiming a PS5 continues, it’s important to keep your safety and the safety of those around you in mind. Be safe and keep your eyes on all of the restocking news. Eventually stock will be more abundant.
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