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GameStop plans to renovate stores, pilot new store concepts

Troubled retailer hopes to draw customers back in with local esports competitions and retro-only branches

GameStop has detailed its intentions to revamp its physical stores in an effort to combat slumping sales.

The US retailer has partnered with design firm R/GA to "focus on creating unique in-store experiences" that will make shopping at GameStop a more interactive experience.

While details are a little light, the firm has said it wants to introduce new ways for its customers to try games before they purchase them, as well as add other features that encourage people to visit their local branch more often.

GameStop says it will be "piloting new and streamlined physical store concepts", such as esports areas that "offer competitive sessions in home-grown e-Leagues", as well as "locations that sell strictly retro gaming software and hardware."

There's no word on how many of these stores are planned, but GameStop says it will be testing them "in a select market" -- almost certainly its home territory of the US.

GameStop has already hinted at these plans in an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, discussing the transition "from a transactional retailer into an experience-based retailer."

The retailer's Eric Bright told us a partnership with esports group Complexity Gaming has helped it design a 11,000 square foot 'Performance Centre', which features a gaming arena with special hardware, merchandise areas and a video studio.

GameStop has been suffering in recent times, posting a $673m loss in the previous fiscal year -- and the first quarterly report for the current one showed sales are continuing to decline.

The company has also recently had a management reshuffle after its COO and CFO departed after more than 20 years.

There were efforts towards the tail end of 2018 to find a buyer for the company, but GameStop gave up on this back in January.

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