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GameStop (GME)

One of the key predecessors was Babbage's, Inc., named for Charles Babbage, the 19th-century British mathematician generally credited with inventing the first major forerunner of a computer. Babbage's traces its beginning with two Harvard Business School classmates, James B. McCurry and Gary M. Kusin. McCurry and Kusin discussed going into business together but went in separate directions after graduation. McCurry moved out to San Francisco and became a consultant for Bain & Company's and Kusin became a Dallas-based general merchandise manager for the Sanger-Harris division of Federated Department Stores. In 1982 McCurry approached Kusin with a business proposal to establish a chain of software stores that would deal with computers and home video game industries. McCurry and Kusin's business plan met with little interest among the people until February 1983, when businessman Ross Perot offered to provide a $3 million credit line in exchange for one-third ownership in the company. McCurry and Kusin took Perot's money and advice, and, on Memorial Day 1983, they opened the first Babbage's store in a Dallas regional mall. Both partners took turns opening and closing the store and seeing to other administrative details. Two months after opening the first Babbage's store, McCurry and Kusin met their sales projections and hired their first full-time employee, Mary Evans, who later became vice-president of the stores. In July 1988 Babbage's took its software specialty store concept public, offering 30 percent of the company's equity for $20 million, or $13 a share. Following the public offering, Perot played his stakes in the company, and Babbage's continued accelerating its expansion drive with the proceeds of stock sales, opening 50 new stores that year to give the company 108 retail outlets. In 1989, Babbage's began losing business because of severe low demand of video games. However, in the fall, Babbage's helped introduce the new 16-bit, 64-color Sega Genesis entertainment system, which quickly changed the demand in the video game industry. In 1989, they open a total of 53 new stores bringing their total to 160 stores. In 1992 Babbage's added more than 40 new stores and began selling a CD-ROM peripheral attachment for the Sega 16-bit system that allowed interaction with digitized video footage. Babbage's entered 1994 with a 300-store chain and plans to open between 30 and 40 more stores that year. Babbage's entered the mid-1990s facing increasing competition from other software specialty stores and mass merchandisers (such as Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.). The 1995 introductions of a new generation of video game systems, the Sega Saturn and Sony Playstation but these two systems didn't help the company much due to competition. By 1999 Babbage's Etc. had recovered sufficiently to begin growing again. Plans were set for opening 50 new stores that year, and a significant portion of this growth was aimed at expanding the company into the field of strip malls. A new name, GameStop, was selected for the 20 new strip mall outlets. In addition, this brand was selected for an expanded e-commerce web site, (later changed to The site, launched in July 1999, initially offered 1,000 game and game accessory products, as well as content such as game reviews. GameStop went public on the NASDAQ in the fall of 2001. Under the continued leadership of Fontaine as chairman and CEO, and DeMatteo as president and COO, GameStop expanded smartly in 2002 and 2003, opening 210 and 300 new stores. Late in the year of 2005, GameStop gained its full independence from Barnes & Noble.This company sells computer products, video games and video games consuls; new and used; also has its own magazine (Gameinformer). The 52 high and low are 59.13:high-16.91:low.



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