Alternative music and pop culture-themed retail chain Hot Topic have today entered into an agreement to buy out ThinkGeek parent company, Geeknet. The $122 million deal secured for Hot Topic all outstanding shares in Geeknet for $17.50 per share, greater than double the market share price prior to the purchase, and plans to add the nerdy themed apparel and gadgets to its ever growing retail sector repertoire.
Future plans for the ThinkGeek brand have yet to be discussed, as it is unclear what path Hot Topic wish to take the brand. Potentially, we could begin to see ThinkGeek stores popping up on high streets and malls across the U.S., or simply see original ThinkGeek products available in some of the 650 Hot Topic-branded stores.
While little has been disclosed to the public thus far, Hot Topic CEO Lisa Harper spoke enthusiastically about the deal, saying “We are pleased to have entered into this agreement and look forward to adding Geeknet‘s innovative products and services to our portfolio.”
Both Hot Topic and ThinkGeek have fairly distinct brand images in their own right, with Hot Topic offering a line of alternative-styled apparel, famous for its angsty, ironic graphic t-shirts, while ThinkGeek are one of the more popular suppliers of all things nerd, including collectibles, apparel, and gadgets. Harper explained how the two brands fit so well together, and why she believes Hot Topic and ThinkGeek are right for each other.
“Geeknet’s unique concept and approach to the online retail community is a strong fit with our business strategy, which is focused on delivering great products for avid fans of various licensed properties, and we are excited about the opportunity to help drive profitable growth and further enhance value for Geeknet’s customers.”
Similarly, ThinkGeek CEO Kathryn McCarthy explained future plans for the company hadn’t changed with the buy out. “We remain focused on increasing our visibility, providing a platform to stimulate ideas and creativity,” McCarthy explained. “As a subsidiary of Hot Topic, Geeknet will be well-positioned to achieve these goals.”
Unfortunately, a large part of the target demographic for both brands fail to cross over, leading some to be concerned by the news. However, until further moves are made regarding the ThinkGeek brand, we have little to be concerned about. Geeknet’s reputation for creating cool and original products has yet to change, even in the face of financial difficulty, and so we have every reason to believe its nerdy ingenuity will continue post-buy out!
[Image Credit: Brynna Boone]