GameStop has received “surprise” PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series stock causing queues of hungry shoppers to form violating social distancing and overwhelming staff.
According to a report from Bloomberg, GameStop staff were informed less than an hour before the public that they would be receiving highly coveted restock for the next-gen consoles.
On Saturday afternoon, the US video game retailer told customers that it was receiving a batch of new stock for both Sony and Microsoft’s next-consoles, which have been all but sold out everywhere since launch.
However, the retailer told shoppers they would only be able to pre-order the stock in-store, in a bid to prevent scalper groups and digital resellers from buying up all the stock before anyone else got a chance.
“We realize that in some situations our approach of notifying customers of this opportunity may have caused unintended reactions from both our associates and customers,” GameStop said in a statement.
“We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.”
Staff complained that they were told by the retailer less than an hour before the announcement was made, meaning they were largely unprepared to deal with the crowds which soon flocked to stores across the US.
The issues were compounded by a shortage of staff after a brutal year for the retailer, which has been forced to close a over 700 stores since January.
Stock is still incredibly scarce across the US and UK, with pandemic-fuelled logistical disruptions preventing both manufacturers from being able to keep up with record demand for the consoles.