Gamestop told investors at its Investor Day event last week that it expects its collectibles category to account for between six and seven percent of sales in fiscal 2016. With the company’s sales over $9 billion worldwide, collectibles sales would amount to over $500 million and could be over $650 million at the top of the range, according to Dallas Business Journal.
Sales of collectibles, which includes figures, statues, plush, replicas, games, and similar products, grew over 300% in the fiscal year that ended January 30, 2016, according to the company’s financial release. Gamestop cited the successful integration of collectibles departments into its stores (over 7000 worldwide) and the acquisition of ThinkGeek as reasons for the expected growth.
Gamestop snatched ThinkGeek away from Hot Topic after a bidding war last year (see “Gamestop Wins Bidding War”). ThinkGeek had around $140 million in sales in 2014, so is only responsible for a portion of the anticipated half billion dollar chunk of geek merch sales for the chain.
Gamestop isn’t the only retail chain that’s turning to geek merch and games as its core lines come under assault from online competition and digital delivery. Book chain Barnes & Noble is investing heavily in games and other geek product lines, as is music/video chain Trans World Entertainment (see “Growth of Geek Driving Sales in Chains”).