Can pay raises and stock awards change GameStop’s trajectory?
GameStop is planning on giving pay raises and awarding stock to thousands of employees in an effort to retain valued workers and recruit talent to the video gaming chain.
The retailer will award stock to all its U.S. stores leaders and give raises to senior store staff, according to The Wall Street Journal. Store leaders will receive up to $21,000 in the company’s stock, vesting in three annual installments.
The Journal gained access to an internal memo from CEO Matt Furlong announcing GameStop’s plans.
“After spending a year strengthening our assortment, infrastructure and tech capabilities, we’re now focused on achieving profitability, launching proprietary products, leveraging our brand in new ways and investing in our stores,” Mr. Furlong wrote. “While we continue evolving our e-commerce and digital asset offerings, our store fleet will remain critical to GameStop’s value proposition.”
Mr. Furlong, who previously ran Amazon.com’s business in Australia and served as a technical advisor to the head of the North American division, was brought on last year as part of chairman Ryan Cohen’s strategy to transform GameStop. Mr. Cohen, the former co-founder and CEO of Chewy, has driven the push to drive GameStop’s digital transformation since first acquiring about a 10 percent stake in the company in 2020.
GameStop in the past year has added a new customer service center and leased more fulfillment center space. It has also launched a digital asset wallet and will soon debut a marketplace for trending nonfungible tokens (NFTs).
GameStop in June reported that its first-quarter sales increased eight percent with a loss of $157.9 million, compared to a loss of $66.8 million a year earlier. The company ended the quarter with cash or cash equivalents of $1.04 billion, up about $340 million from 2021.
“We set out 12 months ago to accomplish something unprecedented in our industry, transform a decaying brick-and-mortar retailer into a technology-led organization that meets customers’ needs through stores, through e-commerce properties and through emerging digital marketplaces and online communities,” Mr. Furlong told analysts in June.
“In the quarters and years ahead, we’re going to continue embracing change, putting the customer first and focusing on long-term stockholder value,” he said.
- GameStop Boosts Compensation for Some Store Employees With Shares and Raises – The Wall Street Journal
- GameStop Corp. (GME) CEO Matt Furlong on Q1 2022 Results – Earnings Call Transcript – Seeking Alpha
- GameStop’s digital transformation to be led by former Amazonians – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: How likely are stock awards and pay raises for store leaders to spur stronger frontline performance at GameStop? What is your assessment of the progress that GameStop has made in its transformation?