Struggling GameStop looks to reinvent itself as Apple product repairer and reseller

“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,” Cliff Edwards reports for SFGate.

“Standing in the Refurbishment Operations Center, or ‘the ROC,’ a $7 million, 182,000-square-foot facility down the road from CEO J. Paul Raines’ office in Grapevine, Texas, workers unload truckloads of ammunition for the turnaround battle,” Edwards reports. “GameStop last fall began buying up consumers’ old iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches, shipping them to the ROC for cleanup and repair, then returning them to stores for resale at a nice markup.”

Edwards reports, “If GameStop eventually resells 5 percent of the 230 million Apple devices in U.S. consumer hands, it stands to bring in $1 billion in new revenue in the next few years, says analyst Michael Pachter of Wedbush Securities. ‘Where GameStop can absolutely kill is selling prepaid phone plans with the used iPhones, since a lot of their customers are teenagers with money to spend but no credit to get a regular phone plan,’ he says. The company has been experimenting with selling AT&T prepaid phone plans in about 60 stores, Raines says.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Why would Apple hand over the U.S. prepaid iPhone market to GameStop?

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz,” “Dan K.,” and “Jax44” for the heads up.]

13 Comments

  1. Do they perhaps mean to sell pre-paid cards from AT&T with refurbished iPhones? If that’s the case, I can see a huge opportunity with their existing client base.

    It’s smart. If the game market is going App store (especially with a new APple TV coming one day), their existing market may dry up quite quickly. I could actually see refurbished Apple hardware as a great business they could own in a fairly big way.

    1. Exactly. I think the MDN take misses the mark. There are other companies that are selling used GSM iPhones with SIMs for their rebranded AT&T service – Consumer Cellular for one.

      As for GameStop’s plan, it has potential. It’s like buying a used car. You can buy a car from an individual, but he won’t do squat if there is a problem. Pay a little more, buy the car thru a dealer, and the dealer will see to problems after the sale. (Because the law in most states makes them do it.) If GS will back the used equipment they sell with a warranty, this plan just might work.

  2. They have to try something. The bulk of their business is used games and with the market going online along with Sony and MS rumored to kill used games on their next consoles they are in a tight spot.

    1. this is true. they make no money on new games. all their profit comes from used games and used equipment. they just see a lot of apple products out there and figure why not? it just another used electronic device.

      1. Exactly.

        I’ve been in my local gamestop and have seen the section where they sell used iPods/iPhones/iPads. They buy and sell all brands of tablets and interestingly they only have used Xooms and Samsung tablets. lol not a single ipad.

        They do have a nice selection of iPods and iPones however. iPod touches seem to be what they have the most of.

      2. Their value is service; they buy used games. That is the mechanism that makes it all work. They put their money in up front and hope to make it back in a sale. Like Goodwill and Salvation Army.

        Gamestop could really jumpstart a change by sending several people from each region to get them Apple certified and start fielding repair work on Macintosh as well. A move like that would require a restructuring of the chain of command because the Apple techs would be over qualified even for the CEO’s job. 😝

  3. I remember going in to a Gamestop in New York, and there was one little section of shelving, about 4 feet wide, of Mac games. Most of it was duplicate stock, so they only really had about 5 Mac games.

    In the words of HST, “the worm has turned”

  4. How can a game system stop you from playing used games? That is stupid. Games for consoles are so high. People can’t always afford $50 for a new game. Plus what about blockbuster and the other online game stores that rent games like Netflix does movies

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