Last week it looked like Hot Topic might be purchasing ThinkGeek. It actually sounded like a pretty good pairing, as HotTopic is filled to the brim with tchotchkes of the geeky pop culture variety. It looks like that deal is off, though, as the next store down in the mall has a slightly better offer. GameStop offered an even $20 per share compared to Hot Topic’s $17.50, according to The Verge.
This marriage makes even more sense.
GameStop’s rewards have sometimes been ThinkGeek gear over the last few months, so there’s already a relationship there. Further, modern games are leaning digital more and more often. While GameStop can sell PC games digitally, the three console manufacturers have strangleholds on their respective marketplaces right now. GameStop is going to be looking more and more for ways to get people into their stores for things other than games – controllers and other console peripherals are just the start of that.
The press release for the purchase says that GameStop wants to make use of Geeknet’s “product development expertise” to get into collectibles. This may cross over nicely with GameStop’s intent to start buying and offering retro consoles and games again.
Hot Topic, for their work, gets a termination fee out of the deal, covered by GameStop as part of the acquisition.