The writing on the wall for video game retail chain GameStop hasn't looked good for some time. The company has consistently posted significant revenue losses in recent years as it tries to find ways to remain relevant in an ever-growing digital ecosystem. These shortcomings still continue to present themselves, with GameStop reporting a massive loss over the course of its previous fiscal year.
While GameStop's fiscal year for 2018 officially ended back on February 2nd, the company has reported a total full-year loss of $673 million. This is troubling news for the retailer which, nearly a year ago, was in talks of being bought out. While the company revealed it'd stopped searching for a buyer, the announcement saw a sharp decline stock prices, further emphasizing the market's lack of faith in the future of retail businesses being a sustainable investment.
Gamestop has tried in recent years to take new business approaches in an attempt to remain competitive in the gaming space. While increasing the selling prices of physical trade-ins, adding a new tier to its Power Up Rewards program, and offering the ability to buy digital codes in-store show the company's resiliency, it hasn't amounted to much success long-term. Last summer, GameStop ended its Elite Power Up Rewards program, and more recently, Sony has stepped in and said it would soon be discontinuing sales of digital codes in retail stores.
Other times, the retailer has failed outright when trying to connect with consumers. From failed attempts of cracking jokes at battle royale through the then-upcoming release of Madden 19, to pre-order issues causing customers to lose reserved copies for the PS4 bundle of Kingdom Hearts 3, consumers have started turning to other sites like Amazon to fill their physical gaming needs, which digs a bigger hole for GameStop to try and crawl out of.
It appears for now at least, GameStop will continue to try finding new ways to adapt to an ever-evolving consumer market. Rumors have been swirling around that the company's new CEO, George Sherman, wants to push for a new vision which would turn GameStop into a more "Cultural Experience". It's no secret the company can no longer survive as a predominately video game merchant, with partnerships such as ThinkGeek becoming an additional way to stock store shelves with apparel and physical merchandise. Whether or not the shift towards this new vision will be able to rejuvenate profits for GameStop, however, remains to be seen.