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Old Apr 23, 2014, 11:09 AM   #1
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GameStop Expanding Beyond Video Games with Aggressive Growth Plans for 'Simply Mac' Stores




Major video game retailer GameStop is making a significant push to broaden its business, expanding its retail operations with new brands and stores that will focus on Apple gear and AT&T Mobility products, reports The Star-Telegram.

While the diversification will include a move into AT&T mobile services through GameStop's acquisition of Spring Mobile, of more interest for Apple users is GameStop's plans for Simply Mac, a chain of authorized Apple resale and repair shops that focuses on smaller markets where Apple has not shown interest in opening its own stores. Founded in 2006 in Utah, Simply Mac grew to eight stores by October 2012 when GameStop acquired a 49.9 percent stake in the Apple reseller. In November 2013, GameStop exercised an option to purchase the rest of Simply Mac, which now includes 23 locations focused in the western half of the United States, and GameStop has plans for a significant expansion of the Simply Mac network.
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[GameStop CEO Paul] Raines said GameStop's confidence in rapid growth at the small chains, acquired for about $110 million last year, is buoyed by their strong ties to industry leaders AT&T and Apple.

Steve Bain and Jason Ellis, the executives who built Simply Mac and Spring Mobile, continue to run the operations for GameStop and see strong growth opportunities. After opening 23 stores this year, Bain said, the company plans to open 50 more Simply Mac stores in 2015.
While its stores are smaller and lower profile than many of Apple's retail stores, Simply Mac's push to open nearly 75 stores through the end of 2015 appears to dwarf Apple's own plans in the United States. Apple typically opens around 30 stores per year, but at this point the majority of those are outside of the United States.
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The "transformation," as CEO Paul Raines dubbed it, is intended to keep GameStop growing and leverage its expertise in store operations and buying and selling used devices. He said he envisions GameStop as a "family of specialty retailers that make your favorite technologies affordable and simple."
As GameStop expands into the lucrative mobile phone and Apple device market, the retailer plans to downsize its video games operations by closing up to 130 of its 6,400 GameStop stores sometime this year. Though video games will remain its primary focus, GameStop CEO Rob Lloyd believes the company's new technology brands could generate up to $1 billion in revenue and contribute up to 10 percent of GameStop's revenue by 2016.

This move into Apple's retail segment comes at a time when Apple is in the middle of a retail transition. The company is awaiting the arrival of retail head Angela Ahrendts, who is completing her transitionary period at Burberry. Apple also is rumored to be working on a mobile payments system under the leadership of Jennifer Bailey, who allegedly left her executive role in online retail to spearhead this new mobile initiative.

Article Link: GameStop Expanding Beyond Video Games with Aggressive Growth Plans for 'Simply Mac' Stores
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Old Apr 23, 2014, 11:13 AM   #2
madsci954
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Come and trade your $700 iPhone for $100 worth of GameStop store credit!
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Old Apr 23, 2014, 11:13 AM   #3
Skika
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simply mac
I doubt they will deal with macs at all.
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Old Apr 23, 2014, 11:14 AM   #4
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Well if Apple continues to do well this will continue to do well.

symbiosis...
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Old Apr 23, 2014, 11:16 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by madsci954 View Post
Come and trade your $700 iPhone for $100 worth of GameStop store credit!
More like "Come and trade your $700 iPhone for $20 instore credit, then watch us turn around and sell your used hardware for $690. Would you like to purchase this thick 300 page iPhone users guide? What about our extended warranty? Would you like a subscription to MacLife Magazine? Would you like to place money down for the iPhone 7 so you'll have a chance of getting it on release day? Would you like...".
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Old Apr 23, 2014, 11:21 AM   #6
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WOAH!

Of far more intest is what this signals GameStop thinks of where the video game market is heading!

They think we're finally making the move that has been expected for years when gamers drop all of their dedicated gaming devices and switch to devices which can do games as well as other things, IE, computers, smart phones, and tablets, and possibly future smart TVs and the like.
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Old Apr 23, 2014, 11:21 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Renzatic View Post
More like "Come and trade your $700 iPhone for $20 instore credit, then watch us turn around and sell your used hardware for $690. Would you like to purchase this thick 300 page iPhone users guide? What about our extended warranty? Would you like a subscription to MacLife Magazine? Would you like to place money down for the iPhone 7 so you'll have a chance of getting it on release day? Would you like...".
This. Exactly this. :/

I remember bringing in 9 games to trade and they wanted to give me about $7 bucks. Said no thanks and made $100 on eBay. These same games were listed as 20-30 bucks a piece on their used game shelf. I understand they're a business and need to make money, but they're worse than a pawn shop.
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Old Apr 23, 2014, 11:24 AM   #8
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Well if Apple continues to do well this will continue to do well.

symbiosis...
If that were true Apple wouldn't have left a trail of dead independent Apple retailers during it's huge growth cycle in the 00's.

GameStop had a niche before games started to go online. SimplyMac is just "me too" and I don't see how it will compete with the Apple Store or major Apple resellers.
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Old Apr 23, 2014, 11:25 AM   #9
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Wouldn't Apple sue for using Mac in the store name or will they license it to Gamestop?
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Old Apr 23, 2014, 11:25 AM   #10
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Glad to see

That so many others find this as hilariously and outrageously dumb as I.

This won't end well for GameStop, nor the customers who make the mistake of dealing with them.
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Old Apr 23, 2014, 11:26 AM   #11
iBlazed
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Repair? Not sure how I would feel about gamestop repairing my apple gear instead of Apple. If you live in a rural area, you're better off just shipping it to apple for applecare repairs.

But at least they didn't name it iStop or something stupid like that.
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Old Apr 23, 2014, 11:27 AM   #12
Carmenia83
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Sounds like somebody's firming up their backup plan for the eventual day that console quality gaming is all via downloadable content. At least somebody was paying attention to what was happening to video stores.
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Old Apr 23, 2014, 11:29 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by AppleScruff1 View Post
Wouldn't Apple sue for using Mac in the store name or will they license it to Gamestop?
If they are an authorized reseller, I think apple would let them be
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Old Apr 23, 2014, 11:30 AM   #14
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Wow... can any of you read? Simply Mac is an authorized Apple reseller, just like MacMall and B&H Photo, etc.. They offer authorized repair services, too. Simply Mac is owned by GameStop, but not run by them directly.

I, for one, really hope they bring one to my area. The closest Apple Store is a 2 hour drive from here. There is one half-a$$ed authorized repair center 40 minutes away (they screwed up my iMac, making me drive 2 hours to an Apple Store to get it fixed properly after all). Meanwhile, I live in the largest city between Pittsburgh and Harrisburg, PA, and there is nothing around here that's Apple-centric. Even our Best Buy doesn't sell Macs. Again, you have to drive 40 minutes away to PSU main campus area - State College, PA. We have a branch of PSU in my area as well, but alas, no love from Apple.
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Old Apr 23, 2014, 11:31 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Rettun1 View Post
If they are an authorized reseller, I think apple would let them be
You must be right, otherwise they wouldn't have used Mac in their name. It must be like MacMall.
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Old Apr 23, 2014, 11:31 AM   #16
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Gamestop Blows

I hope it comes with Gamestop's classic under staffing, terrible hours, and recommendations of horrible/useless products.
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Old Apr 23, 2014, 11:31 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by AppleScruff1 View Post
Wouldn't Apple sue for using Mac in the store name or will they license it to Gamestop?
Being that they already have stores open and there hasn't been any lawsuit, I can assure you that they have Apple's permission.
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Old Apr 23, 2014, 11:37 AM   #18
mengel
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SimplyMac

My father lives in a market where they have a SimplyMac store. I don't know the details but he has gone in with some hardware issues on his phone and they did repair it under warranty. They seem like decent and well trained teams, and Apple even lists them as a "premium" service provider (whatever that means). Where I feel like SimplyMac will thrive though is they have appear to have a burgeoning training and tutoring business, and that seems to be desired amongst Apple clientele.
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Old Apr 23, 2014, 11:37 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by \-V-/ View Post
This. Exactly this. :/

I remember bringing in 9 games to trade and they wanted to give me about $7 bucks. Said no thanks and made $100 on eBay. These same games were listed as 20-30 bucks a piece on their used game shelf. I understand they're a business and need to make money, but they're worse than a pawn shop.
7 bucks for a 20-30 dollar game? That's actually a decent trade by their standards. Usually you only get over $5 for games that are still selling at $50+.

But I quit going to Gamestop mostly for the same reason why I hate going to Best Buy. When I go in to get something, I just want to buy it. I don't want to spend 10 minutes listening to the sales clerk try to talk me into credit card offers, extended warranties, subscriptions, and...blah. They're worse than used car salesmen.

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Originally Posted by ArtOfWarfare View Post
WOAH!

Of far more intest is what this signals GameStop thinks of where the video game market is heading!

They think we're finally making the move that has been expected for years when gamers drop all of their dedicated gaming devices and switch to devices which can do games as well as other things, IE, computers, smart phones, and tablets, and possibly future smart TVs and the like.
Well, that and the fact that everyone is steadily moving more towards digital downloads over box releases, which will eventually pull the rug out from underneath their business model.
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Old Apr 23, 2014, 11:38 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by AppleScruff1 View Post
Wouldn't Apple sue for using Mac in the store name or will they license it to Gamestop?
Apple has rules for resellers/AASPs regarding this. Mac is usually ok, Apple is rarely ok, can't use the Apple logo, etc.

Mac & More, MacAuthority, MacMedics, etc are all names in the reseller community.
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Old Apr 23, 2014, 11:39 AM   #21
SoAnyway
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GameStop will probably end up closing this within 3 years if it turns out to be anything like the music store within a store concept that Best Buy was trying out for a while.

This will be such bad business if GameStop uses the same business of model they have for used games and hardware where they give the customer around 10% of what something is worth. How will they get away with it with Apple products?
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Old Apr 23, 2014, 11:40 AM   #22
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This definitely goes under "things you wouldn't expect to happen", possibly under "wait, what?".
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Old Apr 23, 2014, 11:40 AM   #23
Helenasia
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I have no problem with this, but the combination of the mac-esque typeface as well as the colours green and white, remind me of a juice bar, or an organic grocery store...

Interesting to see if they will be targeting mac gamers more with this approach...
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Old Apr 23, 2014, 11:41 AM   #24
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This will be such bad business if GameStop uses the same business of model they have for used games and hardware where they give the customer around 10% of what something is worth. How will they get away with it with Apple products?
They're already kinda doing that now. Last time I walked into a Gamestop, they had a little section dedicated to iDevices and Android stuff. And right now at least, while it's more an auxiliary draw, rather than their main business model, they do give you a decent amount of credit for trade-ins. I think I could've gotten around $200 for my iPad 3.
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Old Apr 23, 2014, 11:42 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by \-V-/ View Post
This. Exactly this. :/

I remember bringing in 9 games to trade and they wanted to give me about $7 bucks. Said no thanks and made $100 on eBay. These same games were listed as 20-30 bucks a piece on their used game shelf. I understand they're a business and need to make money, but they're worse than a pawn shop.
IDK, have you seen Pawn Stars?
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