GameStop holding Pokemon Go events at stores flagged as gyms and PokeStops to boost business

Other businesses such as restaurants are capitalizing on the craze by turning their locations into hotspots.


Pokemon Go became a phenomenon less than a week after its release earlier this month, and many bystanders have found their business or residence unwittingly converted into a gym or PokeStop, locations where players converge to stock up on supplies and battle other trainers. While some view the game as a nuisance, GameStop is capitalizing on the mobile title's popularity by riffing on stores designated as in-game locations.

GameStop CEO Paul Raines gave an interview on MSNBC (via GameSpot) and explained how brick-and-mortar hotspots for a digital game is improving the company's bottom line. "We surveyed our stores, and we had 462 stores just this past weekend that are Pokemon Stops or Poke Gyms, so we did some family events and our sales were up 100 percent in those stores."

It should be noted that Raines didn't give a basis of comparison for that 100 percent uptick, but it's likely significant. He went on to say that GameStop business is on an upswing overall, and that the GameStop-owned ThinkGeek store, the largest seller of Pokemon merchandise in the world, is contributing a great deal to sales.

GameStop isn't the only business profiting from Pokemon Go. T-Mobile is offering free data and other perks for customers who play the game. Another report indicates that Niantic and Nintendo willpartner with McDonald's in the near future to turn restaurants in an as-yet-unspecified country into test beds for hotspots, the idea being that McDonald's will benefit by selling food to customers who want to hang out for a while.

Pokemon Go players are pitching in to help those less fortunate than themselves enjoy the game. Another news report reveals that players are being encouraged to drop Pokemon lures near children's hospitals (with each establishment's permission) so that bedridden players can get in on catching 'em all, too.

Long Reads Editor

David L. Craddock writes fiction, nonfiction, and grocery lists. He is the author of the Stay Awhile and Listen series, and the Gairden Chronicles series of fantasy novels for young adults. Outside of writing, he enjoys playing Mario, Zelda, and Dark Souls games, and will be happy to discuss at length the myriad reasons why Dark Souls 2 is the best in the series. Follow him online at and @davidlcraddock.

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