Tuesday December 5, 2023

GameStop’s E-Commerce Pivot

  • GameStop is pivoting to focus on online commerce, after a push from activist investor Ryan Cohen.
  • The company's stock surged again on Monday in light of the news.
GameStop/Design: Alex Brooks
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Activist investor Ryan Cohen has been tapped to lead GameStop’s digital transformation, and the market loves it.

Cohen is a GameStop board member whose RC Ventures owns around 13% of the company’s stock. The Chewy co-founder will head up the video game retailer’s new Strategic Planning and Capital Committee.

The committee will be tasked with transforming GameStop “into a technology business” with a strong focus on e-commerce, per a company release. Analysts believe the announcement may have sparked the latest surge in the company’s stock price.

GameStop has successfully retained momentum from the January saga in which retail investors poured money into its stock to drive up the price before short sellers would be forced to purchase it back. 

  • Though still below its $483 peak, the stock jumped another 41% on Monday to $194.50 when the new e-commerce plan became public.
  • The stock is over 11 times its price at the start of the year.

Cohen’s move to a leadership role in GameStop coincided with the Reddit-fueled surge; he gained board spots for himself and two allies in January.

Even before spearheading GameStop’s new strategic committee, Cohen was vocal about the company’s need to reimagine its business as an online-first destination and cut costs by moving away from in-person retail.

A major step in the process will be to bring on a new chief financial officer with experience in online retail. Outgoing CFO Jim Bell was forced out in February after disagreements over the direction of the company.

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