Game Retailers Association Code of Ethics
To raise the standards of game retailing, inspire support from game communities and enhance relationships with game manufacturers and suppliers, the GRA has adopted the following Code of Ethics. The GRA Code of Ethics is a part of the membership agreement that all GRA members agree to as a condition of their ongoing membership.
General Rules of Conduct.
- Honesty is expected from all GRA members when dealing with GRA affairs and in their dealing with all persons within the game industry, from manufacturer to end consumer and everyone in between.
- Members will not injure or malign the good business name of any other GRA member.
- Members shall uphold all local, state and federal laws as pertaining to their business.
- Members shall not misrepresent or falsely advertise any aspect of products they sell.
- Members shall not engage in Intentional Interference (tort interference) between a competitor and his/her customers or suppliers by any false or deceptive means.
- No member shall hire an employee of another firm with the intent of obtaining protected “confidential” business information regarding the former employer. Members shall not engage in commercial bribery, make payoffs, or engage in other illegal acts to obtain confidential business information, trade secrets or other nonpublic information from a competitor.
- Members shall not copy the trademarks, names, slogans or trade secrets of a competitor without their specific permission.
- Members shall work to maintain good relations with their employees, applying the principles of good human relations in their daily work.
PRINCIPLE I: Commitment to Value
The GRA members recognize that several decades of game retailing have developed a number of models which, while varied, require stable brand values to be sustainable. While the GRA does not engage in discussion on pricing, it recognizes that certain predatory practices devalue brands making the market too unstable for game retailers to be successful. To that end, GRA members agree to:
- Not engage in predatory pricing with the intent to hurt competition or which violates federal or state antitrust or trade regulations.
- Members shall not bribe, offer gifts, kickbacks or other any other items or services of value in order to receive special pricing consideration or terms otherwise not posted and openly available.
- Shall not accept or offer back door deals which circumvent the manufacturer approved channel of distribution for a product.
- Shall not sell a product or bundle a product in such a fashion as to harm the value of that brand in the marketplace.
PRINCIPLE II: Commitment to Communication
Open communication and discourse amongst GRA members and between the GRA and other industry tiers is a vital goal of the association and how it plans to address and improve many issues within the industry. To that end, GRA members agree to embrace that principle and to do the following where possible.
- Shall participate in open discussion with the Board of Directors of the GRA and other GRA members.
- Shall, if designated as a representative of the membership, aid in the writing, editing and presentation of position papers covering issues important to the GRA.
- Shall deal with their own customers in an honest and forthright manner.
PRINCIPLE III: Commitment to Data Collection
A consequence of the industry owning a multitude of independent manufacturers and retailers has been a severe lack of market data available to all looking to engage in or with companies within the industry. The GRA is uniquely positioned to gather meaningful market data for the benefit of its members and the industry at large. To that aim, GRA members agree to:
- Participate honestly and openly on any aggregation of data projects they participate in.
- Share data regarding sales volumes in general across different categories, publishers and brands and/or specific products for the purpose of aggregation of said data. Data aggregated in such fashion will only be made available in aggregated form and never available to anyone at the individual contributor level.
- As a general principle, GRA members that contribute such data will have access to the aggregated results.
- Shall only share GRA data with persons outside those already receiving data or when the GRA BOD expressly states when and where such data may be shared.
PRINCIPLE IV: Professional Conduct and Public Image
As independent businesses, game store owners come from a vast array of differing backgrounds and business experiences. As the industry matures, there is a greater need for its retailers to mature in both appearance and the quality of its public engagements. The GRA understand the importance of raising the public image of game retail stores as a whole and will strive to achieve that through education of member companies and the retail tier as a whole. The GRA will engage with its supply chain partner to address behaior by manufacturers and distributors that also impact the professional image of independent game stores. Additionally, the GRA members agree to hold to the following standards:
- Maintain a clean and inviting establishment. This includes bathrooms and parking areas.
- Maintain posted hours and abide by them at all times, excepting emergencies.
- Keep the establishment well lite and uncluttered.
- Refrain from posting signage, artwork or décor that is of a nature of, or be considered to specifically try to embarrass, insult or engage any group of person such a race, gender, age, religious reference, etc, etc. Te refrain from using language that would result in the same.
- To always offer receipts for goods purchased, when asked, or as a standard practice.
- To refrain from publicly making disparaging remarks about competitors.
- Not publish and/or host the same event as a competitor specifically as a means to hinder theirs.
- Adherence to published street dates. A GRA member will not sell an item before its published street date unless communication is given by the publisher to revise the originally submitted street date.
- To adhere to all manufacturer promotions as offered, if the choice is made to participate. For example: if promotional items are offered and accepted, distribution of said items are to follow manufacturer guidelines for doing so.