Don’t (Manic) Panic! ThinkGeek Deal with Hot Topic is Off

Sometimes you think you’ve found the one.

That’s what ThinkGeek thought when it met Hot Topic.  Edgy, unnatural colored hair and full of deep thoughts written in cursive strewn across t-shirts bearing unicorns.


And then it met GameStop.

It’s not that it doesn’t like Hot Topic anymore.  It just doesn’t like like Hot Topic anymore.

So it’s calling off their engagement.

GeekNet (the parent company of ThinkGeek) has just announced it is calling off the Hot Topic acquisition, paying all required damages, and is being acquired by video game shop, GameStop.

From GeekNet’s press release:

Geeknet also announced that it had terminated its previously announced merger agreement with Hot Topic, Inc. (“Hot Topic”). Following discussion with both GameStop and Hot Topic, the Board of Directors of Geeknet determined that the GameStop transaction represented a superior proposal. Geeknetwill pay Hot Topic a termination fee pursuant to the Hot Topic agreement, for which GameStop has agreed to reimburse Geeknet.

Paul Raines, chief executive officer of GameStop, stated, “This acquisition creates value to all stakeholders involved. The addition of Geeknet is an important expansion of our global multichannel platform and we are excited to leverage their product development expertise to broaden our product offering in the fast-growing collectibles category and deepen relationships with our existing customer base.”

It appears that the huge value for any of these companies in acquiring ThinkGeek is ThinkGeek’s huge portfolio of hard-to-get licenses.

My guess is the reason ThinkGeek has been so successful in acquiring these licenses is because it comes across as “one of us geeks” rather than a disembodied company trying to make money with any niche they can.

I’m very interested in learning how this changes the way ThinkGeek operates its local location.  (It isn’t a retail location but they host events there.)

I’m also interested in seeing whether they maintain their very down-to-geek-earth personality in customer service on social media and through customer service, or whether they go the way of post-Amazon acquisition.

What do you think of the switch from Hot Topic to GameStop?

(Hat tip to reader Matt C.!)

About Jeanne Marie Hoffman

Former bartender, still a geek. One equal part each cookies, liberty, football, music, travel, libations. Stir vigorously. +Jeanne Marie Hoffman Jeanne on Twitter

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