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GameStop Looks For Boost With Microsoft’s Cloud Solutions

‘We believe Microsoft’s integrated retail technology platform will enable the continued development of our frictionless, omni-channel digital environment, providing customers with an exceptional cross-channel experience for all things video gaming,’ says Jim Bell, GameStop’s chief financial officer.

A new multiyear partnership with Microsoft will see struggling video game retailer GameStop standardize its back-end and in-store solutions on the cloud provider’s Dynamics 365 and use new Microsoft Surface devices, Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams in its stores to help associates better serve customers.

“By harnessing the power of Dynamics 365 and Microsoft 365, GameStop will be able to modernize its technology infrastructure and support store associates and fans in new and exciting ways,” Matt Renner, Microsoft’s U.S. enterprise commercial president, said in a statement. “This partnership also provides GameStop with advanced retail management technologies that will drive operational efficiencies throughout its omni-channel platform.”

GameStop has more than 5,000 stores and sells its physical and digital gaming products through its e-commerce website.

The Grapevine, Texas-based company, which has been trying to overhaul its business, will use Microsoft’s cloud solutions and hardware products to provide new digital experiences to customers. Dynamics 365, Microsoft’s line of enterprise resource planning and customer relationship management applications, will be integrated across GameStop’s business operations, including finance, inventory, e-commerce, retail and point of sale. Store associates will be able access information about customer preferences and their store and online purchasing histories in addition to real-time information on product availability, subscriptions, pricing and promotions to provide more personalized in-store experiences for customers.

New Microsoft Surface devices will allow associates to move around GameStop stores to help customers. Store managers already have been using the devices as part of GameStop’s digital modernization strategy.

With Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams in GameStop stores, the company’s 30,000-plus store associates will be able to collaborate more easily while benefiting from enhanced security and identify management capabilities, Microsoft and GameStop said.

GameStop’s stock surged 44.12 percent following the news, closing at $13.49 per share, up 69 cents or 5.11 percent.

“This is an exciting day at GameStop as we announce the advancement of an important partnership that capitalizes on the power of our operating platform and significant market share in gaming to accelerate our digital transformation; drive incremental revenue streams; and, over time, further monetize the digital world of gaming,” GameStop CEO George Sherman said in a statement.

GameStop, whose sales declined 22 percent to $6.47 billion in the last fiscal year that ended Feb. 1, has been trying to improve its financial performance and stabilize its business under a “GameStop Reboot” transformation plan and new management team and board members. Sherman, who joined the company in April of 2019, formerly was CEO of Raleigh, N.C.-based Victra, one of the largest authorized retailers for Verizon Wireless in the United States.

Adopted in September of 2019, “GameStop Reboot” centers lowering the chain’s costs and reducing debt, becoming the “social/culture hub” for gaming and building digital capabilities across its omni-channel retail platform. GameStop also is focused on expanding its PC gaming and private-label product categories, and transforming its vendor partnerships, including by testing digital revenue-sharing with key partners.

GameStop will expand its offerings of Microsoft Xbox gaming platform and services to include Xbox All Access, which provides players with an Xbox console and 24 months of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate with no upfront cost. Both GameStop and Microsoft will benefit from the customer acquisition and lifetime revenue value of each gamer brought into the Xbox ecosystem, according to the companies’ announcement.

“For many years, GameStop has been a strong go-to-market partner for our gaming products, and we are excited about continuing and evolving that relationship for the launch of the Xbox Series X (and) S,” Phil Spencer, Microsoft’s executive vice president of gaming, said in a statement. Those next-generation consoles are slated to launch Nov. 10.

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