GameStop is shutting down several of its Simply Mac stores across the U.S., and initial reports claimed it’s because Apple ended its Authorized Reseller agreement with the retailer. GameStop representatives say that’s not true and that the stores are closing because they don’t perform well enough.
Simply Mac sells Apple products in areas where it doesn’t have its own retail stores. The locations also serve as authorized Apple repair centers. It’s easy to see why people assumed Apple was behind the store closures because that’s exactly what West Acres Mall told retailers. The mall’s statement said in part,
Simply Mac opened at West Acres in August 2014 and we’ve enjoyed having them as part of the West Acres family. The closure is due to the Apple Corporation ending its national agreement with Simply Mac to sell them Apple product, making it impossible for them to continue.
That’s a pretty clear statement, and it’s easy to spin into Apple severing Simply Mac’s reseller agreement for any number of reasons such as wanting to shut down any non-Apple buying experiences.
Turns out, however, that’s not what happened. GameStop’s corporate communications manager told the Reporter-Telegraph the stores targeted for closing were underperforming, saying,
As GameStop announced in its holiday sales release, the company continues to focus on the execution of our business transformation plan, which includes growing our non-gaming businesses and right-sizing our global store portfolio across all our retail brands. This involves evaluating and closing non-productive locations. The closure of this Simply Mac store is part of that strategy.
Simply Mac echoed that statement on Twitter.
@shel11223 Hi Shelton, we’re happy to say, no it’s not.
— Simply Mac (@simplymacstore) January 19, 2017
If Apple had ended Simply Mac’s Authorized Apple Reseller status, GameStop would’ve closed all of the stores because none of them could sell Apple products. With only a handful of stores closing, GameStop’s official statement seems more believable than the West Acres Mall’s. In the end, it probably doesn’t matter too much to the customers and employees at the closed locations why they shut down. The customers lost a local Mac reseller, and the employees lost their jobs.