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GameStop will require masks for customers, but employees can’t enforce the rule

GameStop will now require everyone entering its stores in the U.S. to wear a mask when shopping, but employees won’t be able to enforce the measure.

“We believe this is the right thing to do to ensure the health, safety, and well-being of our associates and customers from the growing spread of COVID-19,” GameStop CEO George Sherman said in a statement. “Providing a safe environment in our stores for all customers and store associates continues to be our top priority, and wearing a face covering is a simple step every one of us can take to ensure the safety of others in our stores.”

The new measure goes into effect on July 27, which will give the company “time to inform customers of the change, post signage in stores, and train associates on the new protocol.”

Employees will not be able to enforce the measure, nor can they ask customers to leave the store, according to an internal memo cited by Kotaku.

“If a customer refuses to wear a mask/face covering or is attempting to escalate the situation, calmly ask the customer what you can assist them with and complete their transaction as quickly as possible,” the memo said.

Employees were given a list of things to do when a customer won’t wear a mask, including suggesting different ways to shop or offering a complimentary mask.

In the statement, the company said that any customers with concerns or health issues can shop online or use the mobile app. The store also offers a buy online, then pick up at store option, with contactless curbside delivery.

GameStop is the latest retailer to join a growing list of stores requiring masks that includes Walmart, Best Buy, Sam’s Club, Costco, Starbucks, Menards, American Eagle, Kroger, Kohl’s, CVS, Publix, and Lowe’s.

The retailer has struggled the past few years as digital purchases have gained in popularity. Many stores across the country closed due to lower sales and underperformance. However, the retailer isn’t dead yet, and still has numerous stores around the world. In fact, the coronavirus lockdown may have helped the retailer, as online sales climbed more than 500% over the previous year.

“I was pleased with our team’s ability to adapt quickly and despite significant disruption,” Sherman said during an earnings call. “Stores managed to retain most of their planned sales volume to online and curbside pickup, and delivered total sales for the quarter just shy of original expectations.”

In April, GameStop reported that Sherman was taking a 50% pay cut as stores slowly reopened around the globe, and executive leadership would have its pay slashed by 30%. Members of the company’s board of directors also saw pay cuts, including former Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aimé, whose compensation was decreased by 50%.

Digital Trends has reached out to GameStop for clarification on mandates for masks. This story will be updated when we hear back.

Update July 17, 2020: Added information about internal memo to employees.

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