- Aug 27, 2019
(Bloomberg) -- Perhaps no one, not even the day-trading hero they call Roaring Kitty, is more responsible for the improbable 700% rally in GameStop Corp. this year than Ryan Cohen.At 35 years old, Cohen is a billionaire entrepreneur with a reputation for a Midas touch after building the...
Part of that involves closing locations, especially poor-performing ones, a process that began well before Cohen came on the scene. Sherman, a veteran of retailers such as Advance Auto Parts Inc. and Best Buy Co., has shuttered hundreds of GameStop stores since he took the helm in April 2019 — a process the company calls “de-densification.”
Fortunately, GameStop isn’t locked into many long-term leases. The majority of them expire within the next two years, giving the company flexibility to walk away from poor-performing locations.
Still, GameStop can’t shrink its way into prosperity. The hope is to actually sell a bigger range of products, but do more of it online, while efficiently using the stores that remain.
Cohen also looks to tap the culture and ideas cultivated by Chewy, which he sold to PetSmart and a British private-equity firm in 2017 for $3.35 billion. Exceptional customer service is one of them. Wide product selection is another.
There also are parallels between pet owners and gamers that Cohen can draw on. Their purchases aren’t merely transactional. Both sets of customers tend to be deeply emotionally invested in what they buy. And there’s a strong element of community around pets and video games. Customers tend to treat employees as experts, helping them select the right pet food or game.