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GameStop plans closings

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New and used electronics and software seller GameStop, which has two stores in Columbus, plans to close 250 stores this year, a senior executive said.

The company has not identified which of its 6,650 stores worldwide it expects to close, a spokeswoman said.

Chief Financial Officer Robert A. Lloyd told analysts at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference in San Francisco this month that software purchases this year would be moderated by the release of new gaming consoles.

Lloyd said that when companies such as Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft announce new consoles, consumers typically hold off on software purchases until the new consoles arrive. At that point, however, sales typically spike, Lloyd said, especially for software for older consoles as gamers trade in older games to gather enough cash for the new gaming consoles.

Sony announced last week some details about its upcoming PS4 console, which it expects to release toward the end of this year.

Lloyd said in the conference call that GameStop would be ready for the PS4 launch and any yet-to-be announced new gaming devices.

To further prepare, he said the company plans to open 60 to 70 stores — though he did not say where.

“But we will also close approximately 250 stores in 2013,” he said.

About 200 of the closings will be in the U.S., he said.

Lloyd said the company will close unprofitable and marginally profitable stores and move customers to more profitable stores.

Wendy Dominguez, a spokeswoman for GameStop, said via email that it was too early to say which stores would be closed.

The company has just begun its analysis, she said.

Columbus has GameStop stores at 2105 W. Jonathan Moore Pike and at 1310 N. National Road.

The manager of the west side store said his store opened in 2009, and the east side store in 2010. He referred other questions to the corporate office.

Dominguez said the number of employees per store can vary. The company employs about 45,000 worldwide, or an average per store of 6.8.

Although software sales fell more than expected in 2012, Lloyd said that well-known franchises, such as “Call of Duty” and “Assassin’s Creed” continued to do well.

He said he expected similar success for “Grand Theft Auto 5,” set for release this fall.

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