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It's getting tough for brick and mortar games stores to stay in business these days, with GameStop proving to be just about the only such business in the U.S. capable of rolling with the punches being thrown by digital games sales, online retailers and streaming services. According to a recent report, the company might actually be looking to sale. Assuming that transaction is anything like shopping at an actual used games retailer, we figure whomever picks up GameStop will then turn around and sell it to someone else for six times as much.
All jokes aside, we need to make it clear that all of this is based on unnamed sources and rumors at this point, so take everything here with an appropriately-sized grain of salt. The original report is coming to us from Reuters, though, which claims several sources close to the situation who are dishing the details. According to said informants, GameStop has hired a financial adviser to help guide the company through a potential sell, with Sycamore Partners reportedly showing interest.
It's been an interesting decade for GameStop, which has managed to weather an ever-changing retail storm pretty well, all things considered. First came the recession of 2007, which hit pretty much every type of business below the belt. Next, online retailers like Amazon started snagging more and more of the market, making it difficult for physical games stores to keep pace. Add to that services like PlayStation Network and Xbox Game Pass, and consumers have more ways than ever to either purchase their games digitally or simply stream them directly to their consoles.
To counteract this, GameStop first doubled down on used games sales. Next, they started offering more digital goods and sold other electronic devices, both new and used. More recently, they've converted a section of stores into what we'd call "geek culture" retail space, selling everything from mugs and posters to lamps and action figures based on games and the like. Most recently, it was announced that GameStop plans to start selling comic books, too.
According to the report, all of that damage control has only carried GameStop so far, as the company's stock has dropped a whopping 32 percent over the past year. Looking at the bigger picture, that means its market capitalization has slid from about $9.4 billion in 2007 to $1.4 billion this year.
But, apparently, things are looking pretty good at the moment, even though GameStop's most recent CEO left the company in late 2017 after only three months in the role. It was stated that Michael Mauler exited GameStop due to outside, personal reasons, and an interim CEO, Shane Kim, is currently at the helm. The original post points out that the company's stocks bumped up about 11 percent earlier this week, which could put them in a more favorable position to sell.