This week in my return visit to Houston I found my first ThinkGeek brick and mortar. Though old news to some who live in more tourist based cities I was ecstatic to find one in the mall in my old neighborhood I grew up in. Suddenly this retailer which seemed to be a fantasy is now becoming a reality for oh so many geeks and nerds out there.
For those who have not checked out the “loot” on the ThinkGeek website since its establishment in 1999 definitely must. From life simplifying gadgets to much sought after unique collectors items such as Star Wars Office Supplies the possibilities of everything you never knew you always wanted are endless.
When I first caught wind of Game Stop’s $140 million acquisition of ThinkGeek I assumed along with other retail enthusiasts and specialists that Game Stop would use TG products to expand their own variety in products which in turn would expand their demographic, reaching 65% of family and female shops as opposed to the 35% they presently had with their strictly gaming product. This would be a significant improvement considering women spend on average 7 hours a week shopping, over men who spend only 5. The expansion made sense, but at the same time this method did not save Hastings which was forced to close all 123 of their locations this year. Brick and mortar game sales are an endangered beast as instant online purchasing continue to grow in popularity; Forrester predicts that by 2020 60% game sales will occur online.
But instead Game Stop has completely branched out to give ThinkGeek it’s own exclusive shop. Much like Amazon’s transfer to B&M the shops will be fluid from online to in store, and then from in store to the comforts of your home. There will be a shopping app, inventory is easily deliverable to your home from in store and even from other store locations. Shopping in your pajamas with your favorite mug is still an option and the website will pull not only from their warehouse but from your local shop to be delivered to to your door, or allow you to have same day pick up in house.
So far the plans for the first year are 25 US locations and 25 international. A list their locations can be found on thinkgeek.com under store locations. As for GameStop locations, I suppose we will just have to sit and watch.