New GameStop from GameStop
While GameStop is closing about 120 to 130 U.S. stores this year, it expects to open or buy 300 to 400 stores from its newly acquired brands.
Simply Mac is an authorized Apple retailer that is opening stores in smaller cities where Apple doesn’t plan to go.
The other two chains are in the wireless business.
Spring Mobile is a chain that it bought last year that sees a way to grow by being a consolidator of the 1, 600 local individual AT&T dealers. A lot of these stores are run by individuals who are ready to retire or don’t want to add AT&T’s expanding brand of products, said Jason Ellis CEO of Spring Mobile.
Spring Mobile operates 164 stores and plans to add 200 to 250 by the end of this year.
Cricket is also an AT&T wireless brand. It’s the AIO brand of pre-paid wireless stores that AT&T created last year. GameStop opened 31 stores in November and plans to open another 100 to 150 this year. The AIO brand is going away and all stores are being rebranded as Cricket stores. GameStop is also selling Cricket pre-paid wireless service in about 100 stores in Dallas and Los Angeles.
Both Apple and AT&T help pay for new store openings, Raines said. Analysts asked about failure rates of these stores. The two existing brands have a track record and some predictability of the business as new stores open or are acquired, Raines said.
Cricket is still too new with only four months under its belt, said Joe Gorman, CEO of GameStop Mobile which is running the Cricket stores.
Here are some other highlights from the meeting:
– GameStop said it’s leveraging its 27 million Power-Up loyalty customers to grow the other stores. They can send customers email about new store openings.
– 60 percent of GameStop customers visit its web or mobile sites before making a purchase. 26 percent who don’t buy, make a store purchase within 24-48 hours.
– GameStop’s EB Games Expo in Australia attracted 35, 000 paying customers last year. Tickets cost $50 to $100 each. It expects 45, 000 people this year.