GameStop Owners Believe Eastwood Location is Better for Business

You are on, ELi's old domain, which is now an archive of news (as of early April, 2020). If you are looking for the latest news, go to and update your bookmarks accordingly!


Thursday, June 13, 2019, 9:08 am
Sarah Spohn

GameStop store leader Guy Hengesbach (left) and co-worker Jeremy McDonald

The games will go on, albeit in a different store.

Owners of GameStop closed their Grand River Avenue location May 19 and merged with a nearby store, located at Eastwood Towne Center, which has been open for six years. The Grand River Avenue location had opened in 2008, according to Guy Hengesbach, store leader.

Though the move was sudden, Hengesbach said the change in location has brought in more customers and increased foot traffic.

“They decided to close that store – they don’t tell us why,” Hengesbach said. “That location just had to close.”

Any orders placed at the Grand River location were automatically transferred to the Eastwood Towne Center spot, according to Hengesbach. One of the staff members moved to the Eastwood store, and others were transferred to various locations.

“It was hard to park over there,” Hengesbach said of the previous store’s location. “This is kind of a newer mall – it’s got all the hip stuff. I’ll get people waiting for tables at either restaurant, or the guy that doesn’t want to sit around and wait for his wife in the makeup store,” Hengesbach chuckled. “We get more foot traffic here. Students usually didn’t have much money to spend.”

Mario Kart Deluxe Tournament is June 22

GameStop is hosting a family-friendly Mario Kart Deluxe Tournament from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 22, at the Eastwood store, next to the Claddagh Irish Pub. Groups of four players will be competing against each other in Mario Kart 8 on the Nintendo Switch. Gameplay will be on a 43-inch television, complete with pizza and prizes including action figures, and playing cards. The top prize is a ticket to the Capital City Comic Con in September.

The last similar tournament brought in about 15 people, many of which were just browsing the mall.

“We had a lot of people who were just walking by, that wanted to see what the Switch was like, which is cool,” Hengesbach said.

Hengesbach enjoys these types of events, because they are a good way for interested customers to test out products before they commit to buying them. It’s also a great way to spread the word that GameStop is more than just a store for gamers.

“There’s really cool t-shirts, Funko POP!s are popular now, and we have collectibles, action figures, and board games. It’s not just a video game destination anymore,” Hengesbach said. “I want people to not feel intimidated to come in, the way I was before I was an employee with GameStop. I totally get it – I knew nothing about video games when I started. It’s kind of intimidating when you don’t keep up with the tech, or the newest system.”

The ability to try consoles in store, and the individual attention GameStop employees give to their customers is something Hengesbach prides his team on, and what sets them apart from competition.

“But that makes us different from big box dealers – having a one-on-one with somebody, making them feel comfortable – putting a system in their hands so they can feel it, or know what to expect. We let them know what games to watch out for – as far as ratings for their kids.”

The Mario Kart Deluxe Tournament is a family-friendly, free event. Interested gamers can call the store at (517) 316-9392 to sign up in advance, or visit the store on tournament day.

Following that, GameStop will host a Super Smash Bros. Nintendo Switch gaming tournament from 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, July 20. © 2013-2020 East Lansing Info