Technology has long been a staple of the GameStop business and the refurbishment of video game hardware and software and consumer electronics is one of our competitive advantages and critical components of our buy-sell-trade model. GameStop operates global refurbishment operations centers (ROCs) in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Sweden, Spain and the United States.
The ability to receive the video games and consoles that a customer brings in for trade, repair them and return them to the consumer market is something no other retailer can do as well as GameStop. In addition, our largest state-of-the-art facility in Grapevine, Texas also has proprietary technology to refurbish the many different brands and operating platforms of smart phones and tablets.
GameStop’s unique and robust refurbishment and recycling program results in significant amounts of e-waste being kept out of landfills. Through our trade-in program, we take in software (CDs) and electronic devices and accessories that are otherwise destined for landfills and either refurbish or recycle them. In 2016 alone, our 10 ROCs around the world refurbished over 8 million pieces of software (CDs) and over 3.7 million consumer electronic devices and accessories, and recycled almost 3 million pounds of e-waste that could not be refurbished by cleaning, repairing or reselling the products in our different retail channels. This represents a more than 50% increase since we first began tracking this in 2013. We also reduced our carbon footprint 30% in the U.S. by switching to recycled void fill shipping materials in all outbound GameStop and ThinkGeek shipments.
GameStop's PowerUp Rewards loyalty program is one of the most successful customer resource management programs in the retail industry. Since launching five years ago, today the loyalty program has grown to more than 50 million members globally.
Through the program's unique online portal (www.poweruprewards.com), members are able to manage their reward points, shop for rewards, see customized recommendations and maintain their video game libraries.
The innovation behind the PowerUp Rewards program is that it is much more than a loyalty or relationship program, it is a platform that enables GameStop to gain valuable insights, increase brand loyalty, acquire new customers, successfully launch new business initiatives, provide customers unique exclusive offers, and drive overall market share for GameStop.
GameStop launched the GameStop Technology Institute (GTI) to focus on discovering and delivering business innovation and technology solutions to better address the needs of today's empowered consumer.
GTI’s mission is to explore and build best-in-class research and development processes to create and implement the next generation of new, innovative business applications to help drive traffic and enhance consumer interaction within GameStop's global physical and digital retail locations.