Reggie Fils-Aime will be joining the GameStop Board of Directors next month. Fils-Aime formerly held multiple management positions at Nintendo, retiring in April 2019 as President and COO. Former Wal-Mart Executive Vice President William Simon and CEO of Petsmart James Symancyk will also be joining the board. These new appointments to GameStop’s Board of Directors come in anticipation of four current board members’ imminent retirement in June.
Following the press release announcing his appointment to the board, Reggie Fils-Aime tweeted that he believes the gaming industry needs a healthy and vibrant GameStop. This comment refers to GameStop’s (and brick-and-mortar in general) continuing issue finding its niche in an increasingly digital world. Digital game sales continue to outpace physical purchases, and online retailers like Amazon typically offer more convenience and better pricing over brick-and-mortar stores.
— Reggie Fils-Aime (@Reggie) March 9, 2020
One of GameStop’s fundamental approaches as physical game sales continue to decline is offering game and geek merchandise under its ThinkGeek brand. However, collectibles must not have panned out, as GameStop chose to close the majority of its standalone ThinkGeek outlets last year. Before that, GameStop bet big on offering phone service through its Spring Mobile brand, a strategy that cost the company millions. Spring Mobile was sold to Prime Communications for $700 million in late 2018, which was a significant loss on GameStop’s investment.
As a gaming industry icon, Reggie Fils-Aime has the knowledge and skillset to turn GameStop’s fortunes around possibly. Reggie faced a similar issue to GameStop’s with the failure of the Wii U. However, he and the management at Nintendo were able to turn the tide and return the company to prominence with the release of the Switch.
It’ll be interesting to see what changes GameStop makes as Fils-Aime takes his position on the board. He’s always seemed in touch with the public, and perhaps he can help steer GameStop back along the right path.