GameStop video seller closing at least 150 stores

HARLINGEN — The video game seller GameStop will close at least 150 U.S. stores, or 2 to 3 percent, this year and focus more on its non-game portfolio, executives say.

GameStop is a video game, consumer electronics and wireless services retailer based in Grapevine, Texas.

The company has two stores in Harlingen — at Valle Vista Mall and at 2221 W. Lincoln St. — and another in San Benito Plaza.

No list has been released of stores to be closed.

GameStop CEO Paul Raines said last week in a fourth-quarter earnings release the company’s non-gaming businesses “drove gross margin expansion and significantly contributed to our profits,” but the video game side lagged behind.

“The video game category was weak, particularly in the back half of 2016, as the console cycle ages,” he said. “Looking at 2017, Technology Brands and Collectibles are expected to generate another year of strong growth, and new hardware innovation in the video game category looks promising.”

GameStop operates more than 7,000 stores worldwide, but has been hit hard by online video game sales.

GameStop also owns Kongregate, a site for browser-based video games, Game Informer, a video game magazine, Simply Mac, an Apple products reseller, and Spring Mobile, an AT&T wireless reseller and also operates Cricket Wireless branded retail stores as an authorized agent.

GameStop’s total global sales for the most recent quarter dropped 13.6 percent to $3.05 billion, while consolidated comparable store sales declined 16.3 percent.