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October 26, 2012

GameStop Kids to Open 80 Locations in Time for Christmas

By Steve Anderson, Contributing TMCnet Writer

GameStop is out to remind shoppers that kids love video games, and its stores are ready for the holidays. As such, the chain is readying a line of new stores – dubbed GameStop Kids – that will offer 80 locations by mid-November.

While some stores will be open well before that deadline, and some are even open now, what they'll be offering will be a little unusual.

The first GameStop Kids location actually opened earlier today, at the Grapevine Mills Mall down in Grapevine, Texas, and features a wide assortment of games more specifically geared for kids. Nothing in a GameStop Kids outlet is rated M, meaning parents – and those just shopping for kids – have the best chance of not only finding the games that kids would like, but those that contain the least in objectionable content.

It's not just going to be games, either. GameStop Kids locations are also set to offer lines of game-related toys and collectables, as well as other peripherals and things to make games more interesting. Paul Raines, GameStop's CEO, fleshed out the idea a bit more by calling the GameStop Kids locations a way to "take share away from the people who are in the toy business and have an expanded assortment, and show people how to drive kids to new experiences, new products or an expanded assortment of existing products like Skylanders and Angry Birds."

Image via Shutterstock

Reports indicate that Minecraft and Star Wars items will have a strong presence in the stores' operations as well.

It's a smart idea GameStop's part; GameStop Kids outlets not only make for a good place for kids to come with whatever discretionary cash they have on hand and spend, but they also make for a "safe haven” for those who would shop for younger children. With holiday shopping season about to fire up in earnest, GameStop has opened up a set of branches – or will have by November 15 if all goes as planned – that basically announce to shoppers, "buy stuff for kids here," making them a match for Toys 'R' Us outlets everywhere.

This is likely to fire up some sales for GameStop, especially since their business has come under fire a bit of late thanks to a slow economy and more locations available for users to buy games, both used and otherwise. Only time will tell just how well the GameStop Kids concept works, but it's a safe bet that this will fuel some sales with the oncoming holiday shopping rush.

Edited by Braden Becker
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