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GameStop, the popular video game retailer and reseller, is apparently getting into the Mac business in a big way. And not just for games; as the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports (via MacRumors), the company's looking to expand the operations of "Simply Mac" stores across the United States to provide Apple products to (increasingly few) locations that still don't have access to an Apple retail store.
GameStop has owned a 49.9 stake in the company since 2012, but the company extended that to full ownership in November of 2013. Currently Simply Mac only has 23 locations scattered throughout the western United States, but GameStop would like for that number to grow much larger. Indeed, the expansion comes hand-in-hand with a new focus on AT&T's mobile services in the wake of GameStop's acquisition of Spring Mobile.
According to the article, "GameStop’s confidence in rapid growth at the small chains, acquired for about $110 million last year, is buoyed by their strong ties to industry leaders AT&T and Apple. Steve Bain and Jason Ellis, the executives who built Simply Mac and Spring Mobile, continue to run the operations for GameStop and see strong growth opportunities. After opening 23 stores this year, Bain said, the company plans to open 50 more Simply Mac stores in 2015."
Such a total would bring the total to 73 stores, which marks a substantial leap over Apple's own domestic retail growth. The shift comes as the gaming retailer is in the process of closing down 130 of its 6,400 GameStop locations, and as the company attempts to diversify its offerings. CEO Paul Raines wants the GameSpot brand to be seen as "the family of specialty retailers that make your favorite technologies affordable and simple," and believes that the new Apple stores could represent 10 percent of the company's revenue by 2016.
Follow this article's writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.