This would suck royally if it's true. I buy almost all of my games from GameStop. My local stores have always been very nice and helpful, and not overly aggressive like some of the horror stories I've heard online. Now, when I worked at GameStop back in 2011 I didn't particularly like the experience, as the quotas for pre-orders were excessively high, almost like the place was intentionally designed to have high turnover for non-management personnel, but my experience as a shopper was never negative. It's nice to go somewhere where the employees actually know and are excited about what they sell. They're actual fellow gamers like me. Plus I've always enjoyed the midnight launch events. If there's a game from a series I really, really like, I've always made a point to preorder it to get it right when it drops. I still remember going there back in Nov. 2004 to wait in line in the cold to get my copy of Halo 2 and talking to friends and other gamers about our experiences playing LANs in Halo CE. 15 years later, and I'm still doing it. I hope to be able to do it as well once next-gen drops next year (I'm likely getting an Xbox 4 along with Halo Infinite).
Gamestop employees are nice to me as well; but the problem is how historically greedy and shady they have been as a company.
For example, when I bought Nier: Automata from my local Gamestop, it turned out to be their very last copy, which means that they sell me their display case that was already opened up with the disc taken out. But in this particular case, they couldn't find their case for the game, so they had the nerve to sell me a copy of Nier: Automata, "new", at full price, in a generic Gamestop box.
Another example, and keep in mind both of these things happened to me; they aren't stories I heard, but personal experience that I had. Everytime I buy a game, I get asked whether or not I want to buy their insurance in case my game gets scratched or damaged. I always say no. They still always ask. Except one time last year where they didn't ask... they just automatically added it to my receipt and since I'm not always paying attention, I almost walked out of the store having been charged for something I didn't ask for. While getting that situation fixed, I asked the employee why that happened, and he said that from now they are automatically charging customers for the additional warrantee unless they specifically ask us not to. I buy games from that store quite often, and it hasn't happened to me since, so I'm not sure if he was lying or if they got a lot of backlash and had to stop doing it.
And I just remember one more thing. I was renewing my membership while purchasing a game one day and since I almost never check my rewards points, I decided to ask the employee if I had enough points to get any discounts on the game I was buying. The employee said that I actually have a $5 credit on my account, but he was unable to utilize it for the current purchase because his system has no way of redeeming the $5. In my mind, it was "oh well, it's only $5. I'll print out the coupon and use it next time". But then another employee who must have been listening in on the conversation walked over and claimed that their system *is* able to credit that $5 against my current purchase. I saw the employees exchange glances, and given the shady business practices I've personally experienced up to this point, I can only assume they were communicating in code, saying something like "You nitwit! I was about to make a full sale and you ruined it!"
I would personally love to see Gamestop go under.
And to comment on one more thing you mentioned in your post, is it really true that books weren't impacted by the transition to digital? I remember bookstores closing (I think it was called Borders). I'd be surprised if book sales haven't declined tremendously.