To those of you familiar with the mall scene, may be somewhat aware of the sudden closure of ThinkGeek stores all across the country. This has been going on for the past few months in a nationwide and somewhat sporadic manner. In Friendswood, the Baybrook Mall location, “Temporarily Closed” sometime earlier this year, with their relatively active social media going dark in February. The Deerbrook Mall location held a going out of business sale and closed in July. This left two operating locations, specifically the Willowbrook Mall, and First Colony Mall stores. Almost predictably, the two remaining locations announced in August that they planned to close within a month. This announcement came at the same time as the other remaining Texas locations, along with multiple other stores outside Texas. This move is not a total surprise, as Gamestop’s (ThinkGeek’s owner) merchandise mix has grown increasingly similar to ThinkGeek’s.
Oddly, the ThinkGeek presence in malls was likely jumpstarted by the capital acquired by Gamestop’s 2015 purchase of what was at the time, a very successful online business. ThinkGeek’s website was mostly similar to what they sold in their retail front. Lots of geeky branded merchandise, but with a bigger focus on “geeky executive toys”. The purchase may seem short-sighted by Gamestop, but their action was actually a counter offer against Hot Topic, who had initially bid on the chain. The decision was actually what allowed Gamestop to transition their merchandise mix to include, the “geeky executive toys” that ThinkGeek had found great success with. Including things like branded plushies, T-Shirts/Hoodies, Figures, and collectibles. By 2019 ThinkGeek’s website was shutdown, with their remaining “exclusive” products, being sold through Gamestop’s website. It’s an odd situation when the physical version of a store outlasts the website.