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GameStop to close 130 stores amid big push for mobile

Corporation plans to open more than 400 Apple and smartphone outlets

Games retail giant GameStop is to close a small portion of its existing stores as the corporation seeks business beyond the core games market.

As many as 130 outlets are targeted for closure - a fraction of its full capacity of about 6,500 stores - while the US-based company makes key investments in retail chains outside of games.

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According to details published by GamesIndustry International, the retail has set in train plans to open as many as 250 new Spring Mobile stores (on top of the 160 it currently operates). Spring Mobile offers trade-ins for smartphones and tablets, as well as selling various accessories.

Gamestop chief executive Paul Raines said his company is also expected to open another 20-25 Simply Mac outlets, particularly in areas deemed underserved by Apple. It will also add as many as 150 Cricket stores to the few dozen it currently operates, in a move that could transform the company's footprint in the pre-paid wireless market.

Major investments in mobile stores, coupled with the phasing out of some GameStop stores, may be seen as the corporation looking to other markets to ensure future sustainability.

Raines expects the physical games business to grow again from the success of PS4 and Xbox One consoles, but added "the wireless market is perhaps the most exciting market in the consumer space."

He claimed that the connected device market in the US "is forecast to go from $8 billion today to $50 billion in five years".

"And many will be sold in a store and available for trade and refurbishment at GameStop. The wireless growth opportunity for GameStop is only beginning," he added, as quoted by Gamespot.

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