GRAPEVINE, Texas -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- GameStop (NYSE: GME) announced today the launch of the GameStop Technology Institute (GTI), a new business unit focused on creating affiliations with leading technology corporations and academic institutions to discover and deliver business innovation and technology solutions to better address the needs of today’s empowered consumer.
Joining GameStop as founding partners of GTI are IBM and the Center for Retailing Studies at Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School. By joining forces with these industry leaders, GameStop will leverage GTI to explore and build best-in-class research and development processes to create and implement within its global retail locations the next generation of new, innovative business applications.
“Now more than ever, GameStop’s internal rate of change must continue to exceed the rate of change occurring within the retail environments in which we compete,” said Paul Raines, chief executive officer for GameStop. “The launch of GTI represents GameStop’s commitment to cultivate innovation within the retail industry, as well as lead the charge in discovering new technology advancements to drive positive customer experiences.”
Collaborating with Industry Leaders to Digitize the Physical Space
IBM will bring to GTI its cloud development experience, and design expertise from the IBM Design Lab. GameStop will leverage IBM’s open cloud development platform, BlueMix, to build new mobile and cloud applications that integrate with GameStop’s existing systems, creating a hybrid cloud environment that will allow GameStop to add greater context around both in-store and online customer interactions. By seamlessly linking a customer’s online and in-store experiences using IBM’s open-standards based, high-value cloud platform, GameStop will be able to remove the complexity involved with transactions and improve the level of service that they deliver to their customers. Harnessing the power of BlueMix enables GameStop developers to quickly innovate, prototype and connect with their customers at the right time using APIs for big data, analytics and mobile.
“We are excited to collaborate with GameStop to bring the power of our cloud development platforms and design teams to the greater GameStop community,” said Steve Robinson, General Manager of IBM Cloud Platform Services. “This cloud partnership will integrate existing systems into a new class of applications to build even deeper relationships for GameStop with their clients and will help GameStop lead the next phase of retailing by restoring the balance between physical and digital commerce platforms.”
Texas A&M University brings to GTI a specific focus on retail research, consumer technology and the evolving consumer experience at the intersection of the two. The Center for Retailing Studies has a 30-year history of serving retailers, and is one of the only retail education institutions housed in a business school.
Meeting the Needs of the Consumer
Executives from every retail sector are trying to anticipate what next innovative technology, mobile app, or virtual store experience will win over today’s empowered consumer. According to the global ‘Understanding Leading Merchants’ survey conducted by IBM’s Center for Applied Insights, 83 percent of the 325 senior-level retail merchants who responded indicated they were concerned about how to respond to the shifts in the way customers engage with retailers. In the same survey, 78 percent worried about being able to provide a holistic, cross-channel experience.
Rooted in GameStop’s strong legacy of technology, understanding customer needs and ability to deliver exceptional customer service through its PowerUp Rewards loyalty program, the GTI R&D portfolio will include a focus on enhancing consumer interaction technologies and developing business solutions that help drive traffic to all retail channels.
GameStop’s Jeff Donaldson will chair the direction and efforts of the institute, serving in the role of senior vice president of GTI.
“As GameStop continues to transform its business beyond video gaming and into the technology space, we formed GTI to address our growing need for new innovation as a specialty retailer,” said Donaldson. “As we begin our partnership with IBM and Texas A&M University, GTI’s initial focus will be on the digitization of the physical retail space which would allow customers to interact with the brick-n-mortar store environment in ways that mimic interaction with digital platforms.”
About GameStop Corp.
GameStop Corp. (NYSE: GME), a Fortune 500 and S&P 500 company headquartered in Grapevine, Texas, is a global, multichannel video game, consumer electronics, and wireless services retailer. GameStop operates more than 6,600 stores across 15 countries. The company’s consumer product network also includes www.gamestop.com; www.Kongregate.com, a leading browser-based game site; Game Informer® magazine, the world’s leading print and digital video game publication; www.buymytronics.com, an online consumer electronics trade-in platform; Spring Mobile, an authorized dealer of AT&T wireless services; and Simply Mac, the largest certified retailer of Apple’s full line of products.
General information on GameStop Corp. can be obtained at the company's corporate website. Follow GameStop on Twitter @ www.twitter.com/GameStop and find GameStop on Facebook @ www.facebook.com/GameStop.