GameStop and Electronics Boutique Announce Merger

GamesIndustry.biz: Giant merger will secure around 22 per cent of the US market; next stop Europe?

America’s largest videogame retail chains, GameStop and Electronics Boutique, have announced their intention to merge in a $1.44 billion deal which will create the world’s largest games retailer, with around $4 billion in annual turnover.

GameSpot: GameStop Buying EB Games

Upon its closing, the agreement will see the two companies merge operations under the GameStop banner, which will then fly over 3,200 stores in the US and 600 others in Europe and Australasia. However, to not disrupt plans for the 2005 holiday season, no changes will be made in either company’s organization until 2006. Then, in mall locations where there is duplication in retail outlets, store closings will follow “when appropriate,” according to a GameStop official.

It’s nice that GameStop bothers to inform its employees (meaning me) of big goings-on like this. I’ll bet they had a staff meeting about it. I’m sure they were as just as surprised and clueless as all the other employees that have been commenting about this online. Too bad I missed it because I only work weekends.

GameStop already sucked up Babbages, Funcoland, and Software Etc. The GameStop I work at used to be Funcoland back in the day. I sold some of my old SNES games to that Funcoland. I never regularly shopped at GameStop until I became an employee, nor did I frequent EB Games, either. Both retail stores always struck me as quite similar — they offer basically the same products and services. Until GMR magazine stopped being published, they both offered 10% discount cards (on used items) with magazine subscriptions. Now only GameStop offers this (with Game Informer magazine).

I’m not a fan of industry collusion, despite the fact that the combined companies will account for about 22% of the US market. However, it seems that EB Games considers the merger to be a good thing for them, and obviously GameStop is doing quite well in order to acquire EB. I can see GameStop Corp increasing its expansion into international markets, perhaps trying to challenge GAME stores in a battle for the European high street.

There is an EB Games across the street from the GameStop where I work. I wonder which one will shut down. I know my store is doing very well. I wonder how the EB Games is doing.