GameStop - Too much politics, not enough business. | Glassdoor
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"Too much politics, not enough business."

Star Star Star Star Star
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
  • Comp & Benefits
  • Senior Management
Former Employee - Assistant Store Manager in Birmingham, AL
Former Employee - Assistant Store Manager in Birmingham, AL
Doesn't Recommend
Negative Outlook
Disapproves of CEO

I worked at GameStop full-time (More than 3 years)

Pros

Immediate access to information regarding the gaming industry. The customers often treat you like a rock star. Employees are allowed to take home games to try them out, and the company encourages this as it it creates associates more knowledgeable about the products they sell.

Cons

Gamestop's business model thrives on a false quota system; they encourage pre-sales and memberships as incentive to keep your job, not as incentive to help the customer. This leads to some associates developing underhanded and dishonest ways of making their "quotas" through misinformation or outright lies, or even backstabbing other associates in order to increase their personal percentages, all for the sake of looking good to upper management. Because it is not a true quota system, Gamestop cannot fire you for not making your weekly percentages, but they can extrapolate by assumption that if you do not, it is because you aren't doing your job, and not because of external forces like their customers, which in turn can lead to your termination.

Promotions are just as likely to be given through favoritism as they are through actual hard work. Some associates are even promoted or moved from store to store in an effort to encourage those associates to quit their jobs. To your DM, you are a spreadsheet, not a person. What he thinks he knows about you is formulated through metadata and minimal interactions during store visits.

Individual store success is noted through comparison to the "company average", a set of weekly averages posted concerning each item tracked in the aforementioned "false quota" system. Stores below the average are chastised, whereas stores above are praised, all of this while forgetting the basic mathematics of what defines an "average" - half the company will always be below the line, half the company will always be above the line. Upper management often believes that the store's staff is 100% responsible for an individual store's success relative to the rest of the company, leaving no margin for that success to be partly inherent in the entertainment industry they serve; the corporate guideline is to never accept "luck" as a reason for success.

Whether or not you can sell someone a product is more important than what you know about a product. Gamestop guarantees refunds on some products in the event of customer dissatisfaction, but does not encourage associates to inform the customer about a potential defect in an accessory or to warn against the purchase of a poorly made game, even though these few lost sales translate directly into loyal customers who learn to trust the judgment of the salespeople.

Gamestop does not hire gamers, they hire salespeople. If they can get both in the same package, that's great, but through many interviews with potential associates I noticed that the company was less likely to hire people if they knew a lot about games, I suppose because of the stereotype that gamers are often introverted, antisocial people.

The handbook of rules and regulations is so thick you'd think you worked for the government. Often times even seasoned managers will not know the rulebooks completely, and I have seen employees terminated for rules that were not listed in the handbook they were given upon being hired, but were added to a newer version. Having this many rules also makes it easier for DMs to find ways to fire people they don't like, even if that person has been proven to be a good worker.

The Store Manager's salary is the only paygrade that pays remotely fairly proportional to the amount of work the job requires. The ASM is required to be able to to execute all functions of a store manager and shares an equal amount of the overall workload but will make significantly less pay for the same amount of work. Gamestop encourages all of their associates (from the part-time people all the way up to Store Manager) to work "above their paygrade" in order to make them more promoteable, but they are really creating people who are willing to do more work than they're supposed to without having to sanction a payraise. Given the amount of duties required of an Assistant Store Manager, other companies pay around $14/hr for the same amount of work, whereas Gamestop's starting hourly pay for an ASM is $11/hr. This has a lot to do with why Gamestop's turnover rate is so bad: a lot of people eventually realize they work too hard for what little they make, so they quit. Keeping employee payouts low and turnover rates high is one of the ways Gamestop is able to maintain its status as a Fortune 500 company.

Associates are almost always trained "on-the-fly", as official training must be done only in-store and during times when foot traffic is low and all corporate-assigned tasks have been completed, which in a lot of stores is almost never. As a result, store associates are often trained to complete tasks in the way the trainer wishes them to learn as opposed to exactly how the company wants them to be trained. This lack of commitment by the corporation to training people properly and legitimately is actually detrimental to the store's management team, as improperly trained associates is seen as a workplace management failure, and not a failure of the company to ensure all associates are given enough time after being hired to get trained properly.

Advice to Management

Playing favorites is for high school cliques, not the workplace. Learn to reward people for their personal accomplishments and their value to the company, even if you don't like them. Your job is not to like your subordinates, it is to ensure they can do their jobs. Business is not meant to be personal. Don't make it such.

Promote from within. Hiring management from outside the company is often seen as an affront to your store staff, especially the ones who have been hungry for a promotion. Just because you can hire someone on the outside for cheaper than promoting someone on the inside doesn't mean you should. Workplace dissent is just as damaging to the company as cutting into profits. Take chances on your people; after all, you're the reason they got hired in the first place.

Be willing to admit that you're capable of making mistakes. Upper Management often has no qualms with pointing out the shortcomings they see in their sales teams, but rarely addresses their own failures.

Encourage people to have their own opinions. There are a lot of aspects of the job that your management teams outright loathe, but they are forced to do it for their paycheck. You should not be so naive to think everyone loves everything about their job; there are millions of people doing jobs that pay better than yours that have just as much reason to hate things about their jobs as the kids you pay minimum wage to.

Confirmation bias is bad. A new company initiative isn't successful just because you think it is. Cold-calling people to encourage them to come in and spend money is not an advertising technique, it is a surefire way to alienate your customers.

Stop blaming your sales teams for when a new company initiative doesn't work out the way you planned. There is always a chance that your idea was actually bad (see: the Skylanders buyback initiative, southern region recommerce sales, etc.).

Other Employee Reviews for GameStop

  1. "Not a bad retail job"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Assistant Store Manager in Philadelphia, PA
    Former Employee - Assistant Store Manager in Philadelphia, PA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at GameStop full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    -Working with games
    -Meet some awesome people
    -Lots of opportunities to move up

    Cons

    -Days can be stressful
    -Long hours by yourself
    -Lots of tasks can pile up


  2. "Decent place to work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - SGA in Jackson, TN
    Current Employee - SGA in Jackson, TN

    I have been working at GameStop part-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Fun environment, Decent benefits, Possibility for promotion(s). Coworkers are pretty great at my particular location. And you usually build relationships with regular customers which is nice.

    Cons

    The pay isn't great for the amount of caring you are supposed to put into your job, leadership can be bad depending on your location, and terrible hours

    Advice to Management

    Stop having unrealistic goals for certain locations in rural areas, and remember the good ole days when we competed against EB Games.

There are newer employer reviews for GameStop
There are newer employer reviews for GameStop

See Most Recent

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