GameStop is an American consumer electronics and video game company. The company has been a major video game retailer since the early 2000s, with steady decline to the company in the 2010s as video game sales shifted away from physical locations to online stores.
GameStop's stock price skyrocketed in 2021 due to a short squeeze, orchestrated and managed by the Reddit subreddit r/wallstreetbets.
GameStop began as Babbage's, a Dallas-based software retailer founded in 1984 by James McCurry and Gary Kusin. The original company merged with Software Etc., in 1994, granting both companies shares of a newly formed NeoStar Retail Group. Leonard Riggio, founder of Software Etc. and shareholder of Barnes & Noble, purchased the company's assets, dissolved the NeoStar holding company, and renamed the company under Babbage's Etc.
Barnes & Noble Booksellers purchased the company in October 1999 for $215 million USD. Acquisitions of Funco and Game Informer came in 2000, merging the companies into Funco, which was renamed to GameStop, Inc. in December 2000. GameStop went public in February 2002 on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol GME.
GameStop achieved retail success and public use in the early 2000s, operating across the entire United States and worldwide through acquired brands EB Games, Rhino Video Games, Micromania, and ThinkGeek.
The brand has seen a steady decline since the early-to-mid 2010s, cited as a result of the transition of video game sales from physical locations to online storefronts. The company reported over a 16% drop in sales for the 2016 holiday season, with its overall stock also dropping 16% in 2016. GameStop stock hit a 14-year low at $11.16 on January 29, 2019 as the company said it was no longer for sale.
GameStop stock skyrocketed in January 2021, after members of an online Reddit forum r/wallstreetbets noticed the company was one of the most shorted stocks on the New York Stock Exchange. As a result, millions purchased shares, leading to a 1,500% increase in the share price to an all-time high of $483 USD.
How A Battle Between Wall Street And Reddit Users Made GameStop Stock Skyrocket | Forbes
January 28, 2021