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GameStop, Without the Games

To survive, the chain turns itself into a gadget and refurbishing hub
GameStop, Without the Games

In an effort to avoid the fate of Blockbuster, Circuit City, and others in the remainder bin of failed retailers, GameStop has embarked on a daring, if inglorious, strategy: refashioning itself from a console game purveyor into a repairer and reseller of Apple gadgets, betting that its retail visibility will prove an advantage.

Although Chief Executive Officer J. Paul Raines’s 6,600 stores raked in $9.55 billion last year selling the latest Call of Duty shooters, Madden football games, and other blockbusters, the company’s stock has fallen 30 percent in 2012 and is among the most shorted in the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index. While GameStop still controls about two-thirds of the retail market, players increasingly download games from the comfort of the couch. Buzzworthy Web-based games such as Cut the Rope and The Sims Social are missing from the company’s portfolio, and its profits depend largely on reselling a shrinking pool of $60 titles.