As The Gamer pointed out, GameStop is holding a TikTok competition for its various stores to try and wrangle free viral marketing out of its employees. The task is to create a viral TikTok video, and the winner of the competition will receive an Echo 8, Echo Auto, $100 VISA gift card and one special not-so-cool reward. The winner also gets 10 more work hours on the schedule at their store for Black Friday.
Here’s a clip of some of the things GameStop employees have done for the competition and the brand. The issue here is that GameStop is already understaffed, and the competition feels like a cheap way for the company to avoid paying for marketing through its employees.
This means that the employee can add 10 hours to their workweek for the busiest shopping day and week of the year. GameStop as a company typically caps hours per week for all employees, during this time especially. The extra 10 hours are not counted as overtime either, meaning no bonus pay for working more, just normal wages. They’re basically trading their dignity for the chance to work more. The entire contest is designed to prey on folks who need the money for the sake of free marketing.
All of this comes after months of issues and controversy surrounding the flailing retailer. The company had already stirred up controversy during the COVID-19 pandemic’s initial stages by trying to stay open, endangering employees and communities. Everyone rightfully called them out for that nonsense, including employees who said that the retailer just wasn’t doing things right. The company did cancel some releases to avoid huge crowds, but has still been under fire for their pandemic approach.
Before all that though, the company was reeling financially. Hundreds of stores in various regions had already been closed before 2020. The company has closed hundreds of stores across 2019, and closed even more in 2020. The retailer planned to close at least 300 stores this year. So with all of that considered, let’s think again about trying to sacrifice the dignity of GameStop employees for free marketing.
And when you consider how insane the Black Friday week will be for these employees, things are already tense. Employees deserve to be paid for their labor, and that’s just the sum total of the issue. All of this is just more and more highlights of how nonsensical this all is. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if you want your employees to walk off or strike, this is the kind of dumb stuff that makes them do it.