GameStop Opens "Store of the Future"
GameStop has debuted its "store of the future," a high-tech, high-engagement location that brings together conventional retail sales with digital content, rewards programs, demos and more.
A digital future is bad news for conventional media retailers. Just ask Blockbuster, whose struggles to stay afloat are looking more and more like the final throes of death. No company is a likelier candidate for that same ugly fate than GameStop, yet GameStop appears to be staking its future on a continued retail presence, albeit one that's a little bit different than we're used to.
The company recently launched its vision for the future with a new store in Palo Alto, California. Along with conventional game boxes, the store also offers downloadable and Flash-based games via a PC connected to the online game portal Kongregate, which GameStop bought last month, along with demos running on large displays, reward program kiosks and more. A large "trading center" also features prominently, emphasizing GameStop's continued focus on the used game market. To accommodate everything, the new location is roughly twice the size of conventional GameStop outlets.
The kiosks use an optical scanner to read PowerUp Rewards Pro cards and display individual customer information, like purchase history and wish list, that can be shared with friends. An "Interactive Game Guide" will instantly show information on each game in the store and also provide options to purchase digital content for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, which can then be downloaded at home. Digital pricing will be the same as buying directly from Microsoft or Sony but as GameStop President Tony Bartel pointed out, purchases made through GameStop will count toward reward programs.
Bartel said the reward programs and kiosks appear to be very popular with customers at this point and the company is getting them into stores as fast as it can. Will it be enough to keep GameStop a going concern? CEO J. Paul Raines said the rate of new store openings has slowed, although the company nonetheless opened a net 99 new locations in the first half of the year. Clearly there's still faith in the power of retail, but as the Blockbuster experience has taught everyone, it's never too soon to get out in front of the future.
dident something like this happen in Control+alt+delete? or is this somehow different?
I'm actually quite interested in this...
Oh boy... flash games.
I can't say I'm excited.
so they have in-store kiosks that you can use to purchase games, that you then have to go home and wait for it to download??
Are reward points worth the effort of going out to the shop, instead of just buying it from your couch?
And store openings slowing? OH NOEZ! THERE REALLY ISN'T SUCH A THING AS UNLIMITED GROWTH!
sigh...this seems like a good thing though, a step in the right direction.
Well, I will give them points for trying, but...too much innovation at once, well...
So basically they are making a retailer/arcade hybrid? I have to say that it's a bold step and it might work in some limited capacity, but I would like to see it in action before making a final judgement.
I still don't get why I'd go to a gamestop to buy a downloadable game, considering the closest one to me is about a 30 minute drive away (lots of EB stores still).
... Not seeing how this is innovative.
Why would I leave my house to buy digital copies of video games?
Looks like the whole "Developers/Publishers vs. Used Game Sales" is about to become "Developers/Publishers vs. Gamestop"...
I'm a little off-balance by how much this doesn't hook me. I can't imagine anything short of "Free Copies of Planescape: Torment Tuesdays" getting me to show up.
Sounds like a clever plan; basically making a one stop shop for all things gaming, downloads included. It's a gamble, but hell, I've heard of stupider ideas in the realm of modern gaming.
I fail to see what makes it different than buying say. Game + points card.
I can see all kinds of issues from informed parents. What do you mean I have to hook up my xbox to the internet. Technology scares me. I bought it in store I should have it here.
Meh, I'd rather hear about GameStops closing. They are the Activision of retail.