Avoid This Video Game Retail Giant in 2020
- One brick-and-mortar gaming giant is sinking fast with the online retail apocalypse
- This video game retailer won’t see a comeback — even after the economic shutdown ends.
Before the coronavirus pandemic, my kids had extremely busy schedules.
I would drive them from school to practice and back home again. Every week we had the same routine.
As a parent, I felt like a chauffeur.
After being in lockdown for about two months, I’d give anything to have those days back. Seeing our kids chase their dreams and compete with their classmates was amazing.
Today, my son plays video games all day.
We steal him for a few minutes to go on a bike ride or a swim in the pool. But with social distancing in place, he’s missing out on the time spent with his friends.
All of his friends are online playing video games together, chatting and having fun.
It’s a great time for the video game industry, but one major company is missing out — GameStop (NYSE: GME).
The video game retailer is faltering as all of its physical locations remain shuttered. And the stock still has further to fall in 2020.
I’ll explain why the current environment makes GameStop even less relevant than ever before.
In my newest Bank It or Tank It, I’m taking a deep dive into GameStop’s fundamentals, performance and more to tell you why you should avoid this stock at all costs.
You can watch the video below.
1 Stock to Avoid on the Cheap
The brick-and-mortar retail giant has struggled for years. It’s not a stretch to say it will struggle even more after dealing with the impact of the shutdown.
But there’s another important factor that could send this stock even lower. We’re heading into a historically weak period of the year — May through October.
It’s a period defined by the simple phrase, “sell in May and go away.”
Looking back over decades of data, we can see clear trends of seasonal weakness. And it typically occurs during these summer months. The stock market simply doesn’t perform as well and is more prone to volatility as a result.
But this year a lot of people are not going to heed that advice.
With stocks rocking back and forth, many traders see the opportunity to scoop up shares on the cheap.
Just be careful because not all of these stocks are going to bounce back.
GameStop is one such stock you shouldn’t count on rebounding.
As we enter this seasonally weak period, I propose a different phrase to guide your trading strategy — “come May, diversify away.”
You see, traders have abundant opportunities to take advantage of during this period. But there are areas of weakness, too. And retail is one of them.
The summer is typically reserved for traveling and leisure activities. It’s not a time when consumers historically spend a lot of cash.
With many kids out of the house, retail outfits tend to underperform during this time period.
Below is a 10-year seasonal chart of the SPDR S&P Retail exchange-traded fund (NYSE: XRT). It illustrates how this weakness affects the overall retail sector:
10-Year Seasonal Trend in the Retail Sector
The yellow arrow highlights the weakness from May through August. There is volatility, but clearly no real uptrend in this period.
It’s a period of weakness. GameStop falls in line with this weakness.
GameStop’s Outlook in 2020
The retailer has seen its share price plunge over the years. It has failed to make the shift from brick-and-mortar storefronts to capture online sales.
GameStop even tried to label itself an “essential business” in mid-March. That’s when many states started enacting lockdown measures.
The company argued that it could provide much-needed mice, keyboards and other computer equipment needed for the work-at-home shift.
But a few days after this announcement, GameStop closed all of its stores.
Each of the major gaming platforms plans to launch new systems later this year. That’s a time of major demand as gamers rush to upgrade to the latest and greatest consoles.
But it won’t be enough to turn around GameStop’s misfortunes.
My main argument against the retailer is that it’s a failing business model.
No one goes to the store to buy video games anymore. The company prices itself out of the competition, and foot traffic continues to decline.
I know this from personal experience.
I’m not a gamer, but both of my kids own the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. In all that time, I haven’t purchased a single game, controller or other peripheral from GameStop.
The last time I did, it was from their used games department.
Two days later I saw the same game brand new for the same price at Walmart.
At that point, I stopped even trying to go to GameStop.
Their presence online is weak due to the competition from online pricing. Virtually any game you can find at GameStop, you’ll find priced more cheaply at Walmart, Target or Best Buy.
And if you don’t, odds are you can find it for the exact same price downloading it directly to your console.
There simply is no use for their stores in the digital retail age.
That’s why it’s a stock I’m avoiding at all costs during the historically weak summertime.
Earlier I mentioned the historical impact of “sell in May, and go away.”
With stocks seeing sharp declines, many investors are looking for opportunities to buy instead of sell.
GameStop may not bounce like the rest of the market.
But I use one seasonal trading strategy that finds stocks which will rise during this weak time period.
With retail eyeing a resurgence once more businesses reopen, I’m watching a whole range of stocks that could potentially pop higher once the dictates of the economic shutdown are lifted. You can learn more about this strategy I use by reading this exclusive interview.
Chad Shoop, CMT
Editor, Automatic Profits Alert