Sunday, June 7, 2015

New Multichannel Synergy for Think Geek?



Think Geek--the online retailer of nerd pop-culture stuff--has an interesting backstory and, I hope, a bright future.

It's always on my radar on April Fool's Day. But it returned to my radar late in May, when the teen clothing retailer Hot Topic announced it was acquiring Think Geek's parent, Geeknet. The idea was for Hot Topic to leverage Think Geek's e-commerce experience and become more adept at multichannel marketing. FYI, Hot Topic's motto is "the loudest store in the mall." True.

That was actually the beginning, not the end, of a speedy turn of events as shown above, from Geeknet's investor relations page. Turns out Hot Topic was outbid by a "strategic acquiror" that, we learned a few days later, was GameStop. So Hot Topic found Geeknet snatched from it by GameStop's higher bid within days of announcing the acquisition. End of story (pending antitrust review).

Not everyone thinks GameStop is the best parent for Think Geek. On the other hand, others (including me) see multichannel synergy in combining two businesses that cater to target markets that have considerable overlap.

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