GameStop Now Lets You Order Items Online Even If They’re In A Store And Not A Warehouse

Image courtesy of (Molly)

Most retailers still have a bit of a brick wall between their online and offline presences, and it can create challenges for consumers. To fight that, GameStop has decided to bring a bit of the 21st century to their operation, with a nationwide “ship from store” program.

Here’s the thing: if you go to buy a product online and it says “out of stock,” you and the business both lose. You, because you can’t get the thing you want, and the store, because they can’t take your money. But a supply chain that keeps online and offline orders separated runs into that problem.

For example, it might be hard for a chain like GameStop to guess how best to distribute its copies of Imported RPG 2016 among its locations. They might reserve 50% of their shipment for online sales and distribute the other 50% to stores based on pre-order numbers. But a week after launch, the website might be sold out while a hundred copies are still sitting in shops where pre-order numbers didn’t pan out and nobody wants to buy them.

Enter “Ship from Store.” What that buzz-friendly term means is that GameStop is basically connecting their databases and sorting out shopping logistics. Instead of only being able to order items from a warehouse, you can now order an item online if it’s in stock at any GameStop store, and the company will ship it to you.

GameStop introduced the program at a pilot store in March, 2015 and by the end of last year had it up and running at a couple hundred locations — but the chain operates over 6000 stores, so getting it live across the company is a pretty significant change.

“The nature of our buy, sell, trade business means many of our products never make it back to the distribution center,” a GameStop rep pointed out in a statement. “With this new functionality, stores can now find a product for a guest anywhere in the country and have it shipped to their home.”