Talbots and Hot Topic: A Match Made in Equity Firm Heaven, Mall Hell?

Hot Topic customers (left) and a Talbot's manager (right). Images via  MarkScottAustinTX and  Pennstatenews

Hot Topic customers (left) and a Talbot’s manager (right). Images via MarkScottAustinTX and Pennstatenews

There’s nothing like a good pairing to delight the senses: Peanut butter and jelly. Sonny and Cher. Wine and cheese. Love and marriage. And of course, the corporate punk/goth mall store Hot Topic and your mom’s favorite brand outlet Talbots. When Sycamore Partners, the private equity firm who took over Talbots last year, announced that they’d be buying the Hot Topic label for $600 million yesterday, we were like, “This almost makes too much sense,” you know?

As The New York Times reported today:

The company, with more than 600 locations, agreed on Thursday to sell itself for about $600 million to Sycamore Partners, the owner of Talbots.

The deal is the latest for Sycamore, whose takeover of Talbots last year gave it ownership of the troubled women’s wear chain. Hot Topic, whose wares skew decidedly to the punk end of the style spectrum, gives the buyout firm a younger target consumer.

Two things: “With more than 600 locations” means that each Hot Topic is worth approximately a million dollars? Where does that price come from? Fake vintage Batman lunchboxes and unsanitary ear gauges, or their prime real estate underneath Pac Sun and next to Aeropostale?

We just really hope that the retail company, formerly owned Guggenheim Securities and the law firm Cooley (Yeah, damn the man you guys!) will now be merged with Talbots into one store that both you and your Connecticut grandmother can both enjoy.

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