Hot Topic Acquires Her Universe

Hot Topic Inc., the mall retailer known as a purveyor of music and pop-culture clothes and gifts, announced that it acquired Her Universe, a brand specializing in fashion and accessories for female science fiction and fantasy fans.

Steve Vranes, chief executive officer for the City of Industry, Calif.–based Hot Topic, said that the acquisition will fortify Hot Topic’s merchandise mix and strengthen its position as a pop-culture retailer. Hot Topic will also operate the Her Universe brand’s e-commerce and wholesale businesses as a division of Hot Topic. The announcement did not divulge how much Hot Topic spent to acquire the 6-year-old Her Universe.

In a letter to Her Universe fans, Ashley Eckstein, the brand’s founder, wrote that she will continue to oversee her company. It will continue to be wholesaled to retailers such as Kohl’s Inc. The brand also is sold at Disney Parks and retailers such as BoxLunch. She wrote that the Hot Topic purchase will allow her company to offer more plus sizes, expand business to Europe, design styles for men, and add more licenses and relaunch the Her Universe Press.