The Double Edge of Gamestop’s Ship-From-Store Program

Gamestop is currently in the news for the success it is enjoying from its ship-from-store program.

By partnering with Radial (formerly eBay Enterprise), the popular games retailer has tripled the number of SKUs on its online store by adding inventory from physical stores, according to Internet Retailer, which originally published the news.

The advent of digital downloads and the internet (in general) have proven particularly challenging for Gamestop, which fell from its place as the go-to for any and all gaming needs to a retailer with little to distinguish itself from giants like Amazon and eBay.

The success Gamestop is seeing through this ship-from-store program could be exactly what the brand needed to give it focus and purpose, but the costs could be steep indeed. Here are a couple of pros and cons:

Pros

The program connects Gamestop’s disparate stores to customers, local or otherwise. In doing so, the ship-from store program gives customers access to all of the used knick-knacks, electronics, and vintage games that litter Gamestop stores around the country.

It’s possible that this increased access to used products could turn Gamestop into something like a digital antique store for games; something that doesn’t currently exist on any significant scale. If this proves to be the course, it could very well give the brand the restructuring that it needs.

Cons

As cool as a digital gaming antiques network sounds, it would run somewhat counter to Gamestop’s original goal, which was to sell games, especially newer ones. Even beyond that though, the ship-from-store program severely undermines Gamestop’s brick-and-mortar business by removing a key part of the shopping experience: hunting for rare products exclusive to specific stores.

Though better perhaps in the long run for customers, ship-from-store actively encourages online shopping—something contemporary retailers should certainly support, but also an area where retailers (Gamestop included) have been slow to adopt, slower to innovate, and wholly unable to completely dominate in competition with the Amazons and eBay’s of the world.

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