The Mission Statements of U.S. Entertainment Retailers

The Values Driving Companies Like GameStop, Netflix, and More

GameStop storefront
••• Barbara Farfan

The entertainment retailing niche of the U.S. retail industry might seem to be shrinking, but more accurately, it is changing in dramatic ways that make past comparisons with present reality nearly impossible. So in an effort to define what entertainment retailing is all about these days, a frequently asked question is "What is the mission or vision statement of the largest entertainment retailers?"

The mission statement of each of the major retail store chain that specializes in the retailing of entertainment products (music, movies, etc.) in the U.S defines a brand, culture, and customer experience that will hopefully allow it to maintain its retail relevance into the future. The best Entertainment Retailing mission statements will also provide guidance to employees when making choices in alignment with the company's vision and values. 

Fortunately (or unfortunately), there are several recent examples of Entertainment Retailing companies that failed to maintain their retail relevance. Examining the mission statements of bankrupt Entertainment Retailers can be a valuable exercise for any type of retailer operating in the rapidly evolving U.S. retail industry

Here are the mission statements of the largest U.S. based Entertainment Retailing chains. Click the links to view the complete mission for each retailer, and then scroll down for the mission statements of more types o retail chains selling entertainment products as a significant part of their business.

GameStop Mission Statement

GameStop has been struggling to maintain the retail relevance of its brick-and-mortar retail stores around the world. Part of the challenge is the significant shifts in consumer trends, but another part of the challenge likely is found in the company's mission statement, which lacks both a mission and a vision. 

Netflix Mission Statement

The "official" mission statement of Netflix is a combination of a corporate Vision, a Promise, and nine Corporate Values. In combination, it seems that these corporate guidance documents would keep all Netflix stakeholders - customers, employees, shareholders - happy. In reality, when Netflix significantly changed its service offering, it lost 800,000 customers from what was judged to be an extremely loyal subscription base. 

Only the Netflix executives and leaders know if the decisions and execution of service offering changes were in alignment with all of the company's corporate values. Presumably, if Netflix stays aligned with its vision and values, even short-term setbacks will eventually become long-term successes.

Dramatic Product Changes in Retail Resulting in Bankruptcy

The changes in the products sold within the Entertainment Retailing category have changed dramatically in the past decade. Many major U.S. retailers were not able to keep pace with the evolution of entertainment products like music and movie recordings that quickly moved to digital format. 

What follows are the mission statements of the retail companies in the entertainment retailing niche that went bankrupt as a result of not being able to retain their retail relevance. The mission statements of these companies can serve as a cautionary example of the type of mission statement that didn't drive these companies to keep pace with the quickly evolving U.S. retail industry.

Blockbuster Mission Statement

The Blockbuster mission statement most likely led to its demise because it lagged behind customer needs and lacked a clear vision of the future.

Borders Mission Statement

While lofty in its vision, the Borders mission statement failed to keep the retail bookstore chain alive likely because it lacked a clear direction for the Borders employees as they were making practical decisions on a daily basis. 

Circuit City Mission Statement

The mission of Circuit City focused employees on its corporate values, but those values lacked any reference to innovation or customer experience, which are two aspects of its business model that most experts and analysts believe was the root of its demise.

But it's not only changes in the format of entertainment products that have disrupted entertainment retailing. Retailers themselves have disrupted the entertainment industry. When eBay and made it easy to resell music CDs and movie DVDs the impact on new purchases of those products decreased dramatically.