Hot Topic

Last updated
Hot Topic, Inc.
Private
Industry Retail
FoundedNovember 1989;29 years ago (1989-11)
Montclair Plaza
Montclair, California, U.S.
FounderOrv Madden
Headquarters Industry, California, U.S.
Number of locations
642 (April 2011) [1]
Key people
Steve Vranes, CEO (2016–present)
Betsy McLaughlin, CEO (2000–2011)
Bruce Quinell, Chairman of the Board
Productsclothing, accessories, music, jewelry
RevenueIncrease2.svg US$761 million (FY 2009) [2]
Increase2.svg US$32.5 million (FY 2009) [2]
Increase2.svg US$19.7 million (FY 2009) [2]
Total assets Increase2.svg US$371 million (FY 2009) [3]
Total equity Increase2.svg US$258 million (FY 2009) [3]
Owner Sycamore Partners
Divisions Blackheart Lingerie
BoxLunch
Website www.hottopic.com

Hot Topic (stylized as HOT TOPIC) is an American retail chain specializing in counterculture-related clothing and accessories, as well as licensed music. The stores are aimed towards an audience interested in rock music and video gaming, and most of their audience ranges from teens to young adults. Approximately 40% of Hot Topic's revenue comes from sales of licensed band T-shirts. [4] Hot Topic often negotiates exclusive licensing arrangements with musical artists, movie studios, and graphic artists.[ citation needed ] The majority of the stores are located in regional shopping malls. [4]

Counterculture Subculture whose values and norms of behavior deviate from those of mainstream society

A counterculture is a subculture whose values and norms of behavior differ substantially from those of mainstream society, often in opposition to mainstream cultural mores. A countercultural movement expresses the ethos and aspirations of a specific population during a well-defined era. When oppositional forces reach critical mass, countercultures can trigger dramatic cultural changes. Prominent examples of countercultures in Europe and North America include Romanticism (1790–1840), Bohemianism (1850–1910), the more fragmentary counterculture of the Beat Generation (1944–1964), followed by the globalized counterculture of the 1960s (1964–1974), usually associated with the hippie subculture and the diversified punk subculture of the 1970s and 1980s.

Clothing Covering worn on the body

Clothing is a collective term for items worn on the body. Clothing can be made of textiles, animal skin, or other thin sheets of materials put together. The wearing of clothing is mostly restricted to human beings and is a feature of all human societies. The amount and type of clothing worn depend on body type, social, and geographic considerations. Some clothing can be gender-specific.

Fashion accessory item which is used to contribute to the wearers outfit

A fashion accessory is an item used to contribute, in a secondary manner, to the wearer's outfit, often used to complete an outfit and chosen to specifically complement the wearer's look. It has the capacity to further express an individuals identity and personality as there are accessories that come in different, shapes, sizes, hues etc. The term came into use in the 20th century.

Contents

History

The first Hot Topic store was opened in November 1989 in Montclair Plaza, Montclair, California, [5] by Orv Madden, a former executive at The Children's Place, who retired as CEO in 2000 and was replaced by Betsy McLaughlin, who headed the company until 2011. Lisa Harper assumed the position of CEO in March 2011 until Steve Vranes was announced as the new CEO in 2016. The company went public and began trading on NASDAQ in 1996.

Montclair Place is a 1.2 million-square-foot indoor shopping mall located in Montclair, California.

Montclair, California City in California, United States

Montclair is a city in the Pomona Valley, in southwestern San Bernardino County, California. The population was 36,664 in the 2010 United States Census.

The Childrens Place retailer of children’s apparel and accessories

Children's Place Inc. is an American specialty retailer of children’s apparel and accessories. The company also markets apparel under the Children's Place, Place, and Baby Place brand names.

In 2013, Hot Topic announced its sale to private equity firm Sycamore Partners for $600 million. [6]

Private equity typically refers to investment funds, generally organized as limited partnerships, that buy and restructure companies that are not publicly traded.

Sycamore Partners is a private equity firm based in New York specializing in investments through a variety of private equity strategies, most notably leveraged buyouts, distressed buyouts, complex corporate carveouts and debt investments. The firm has more than $15 billion in capital under management. The firm employs 20 investment professionals.

Product assortment and sales

Hot Topic at Universal CityWalk in Hollywood, California, displaying the Hot Topic logo used during the peak of the company's popularity. Hot Topic, Universal CityWalk Hollywood.JPG
Hot Topic at Universal CityWalk in Hollywood, California, displaying the Hot Topic logo used during the peak of the company's popularity.

The store has been through a number of phases in its history, reflective of various alternative culture and pop culture (including geek culture) trends. In the early 2000s, the store was known for heavily marketing nu-metal merchandise related to bands such as Evanescence and Disturbed. During that period, the store was also known for its sales of controversial gel bracelets (often rumored to be "sex bracelets") as well as the equally controversial styles of phat pants-inspired bondage pants [7] popular among teenagers in the late 1990s and early-to-mid 2000s.

Popular culture is generally recognized by members of a society as a set of the practices, beliefs and objects that are dominant or ubiquitous in a society at a given point in time. Popular culture also encompasses the activities and feelings produced as a result of interaction with these dominant objects. Heavily influenced in modern times by mass media, this collection of ideas permeates the everyday lives of people in a given society. Therefore, popular culture has a way of influencing an individual's attitudes towards certain topics. However, there are various ways to define pop culture. Because of this, popular culture is something that can be defined in a variety of conflicting ways by different people across different contexts. It is generally viewed in contrast to other forms of culture such as folk culture, working-class culture, or high culture, and also through different theoretical perspectives such as psychoanalysis, structuralism, postmodernism, and more. The most common pop-culture categories are: entertainment, sports, news, politics, fashion/clothes, technology, and slang.

Evanescence American alternative metal band

Evanescence is an American rock band founded in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1995 by singer and pianist Amy Lee and guitarist Ben Moody. After recording independent albums, the band released their first full-length album, Fallen, on Wind-up Records in 2003. Fallen sold more than 17 million copies worldwide and helped the band win two Grammy Awards out of seven nominations. A year later, Evanescence released their first live album, Anywhere but Home, which sold more than one million copies worldwide. In 2006, the band released their second studio album, The Open Door, which sold more than five million copies.

Disturbed (band) American heavy metal band

Disturbed is an American heavy metal band from Chicago, formed in 1994. The band includes vocalist David Draiman, guitarist/keyboardist Dan Donegan, bassist John Moyer and drummer Mike Wengren. They have had very few lineup changes, with Donegan and Wengren being the 2 remaining original members. Former band members are vocalist Erich Awalt, and bassist Steve Kmak. The band has released seven studio albums, five of which have consecutively debuted at number one on the Billboard 200. Disturbed went into hiatus in October 2011, during which the band's members focused on various side projects, and returned in June 2015, releasing their first album in four years, Immortalized, on August 21, 2015. They also recorded and released one live album, Disturbed: Live at Red Rocks on November 18, 2016, which was recorded on August 18, 2016, at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colorado, located about 10 miles west of Denver, Colorado. Their seventh studio album, Evolution, was released on October 19, 2018.

The store later focused on skinny jeans and merchandise related to scene, emo and hardcore music and fashion. At present, the store's selection is largely focused on licensed video game merchandise and internet memes popular on sites such as tumblr, as well as anime and manga, and the associated otaku subculture.

Scene (subculture) contemporary subculture

The scene subculture is a youth subculture that emerged in the United States and the United Kingdom during the early-mid 2000s. The subculture became popular with adolescents from the late 2000s to mid 2010s. Members of the scene subculture are referred to as scene kids, scene people, scenies, or scenesters. Scene people are known for their fashion consisting of skinny jeans, bright colored clothing, and straight, flat hair with long fringes covering their forehead, sometimes with hair extensions and bright colored hair dye. Scene people are known for listening to multiple genres of music such as post-hardcore, metalcore, crunkcore, deathcore, and pop punk.

Emo is a rock music genre characterized by an emphasis on emotional expression, sometimes through confessional lyrics. It emerged as a style of post-hardcore from the mid-1980s hardcore punk movement in Washington, D.C., where it was known as emotional hardcore or emocore and pioneered by bands such as Rites of Spring and Embrace. In the early–mid 1990s, emo was adopted and reinvented by alternative rock, indie rock and pop punk bands such as Sunny Day Real Estate, Jawbreaker, Weezer and Jimmy Eat World, with Weezer breaking into the mainstream during this time. By the mid-1990s, bands such as Braid, the Promise Ring and the Get Up Kids emerged from the burgeoning Midwest emo scene, and several independent record labels began to specialize in the genre. Meanwhile, screamo, a more aggressive style of emo using screamed vocals, also emerged, pioneered by the San Diego bands Heroin and Antioch Arrow.

Hardcore punk Subgenre of punk rock

Hardcore punk is a punk rock music genre and subculture that originated in the late 1970s. It is generally faster, harder, and more aggressive than other forms of punk rock. Its roots can be traced to earlier punk scenes in San Francisco and Southern California which arose as a reaction against the still predominant hippie cultural climate of the time. It was also inspired by New York punk rock and early proto-punk. New York punk had a harder-edged sound than its San Francisco counterpart, featuring anti-art expressions of masculine anger, energy, and subversive humor. Hardcore punk generally disavows commercialism, the established music industry and "anything similar to the characteristics of mainstream rock" and often addresses social and political topics with "confrontational, politically-charged lyrics."

Ventures

Hot Topic launched Torrid, a concept store that sells clothing for plus-size women, in 2001. [8] While still under the same parent umbrella as Hot Topic, in 2015 the company branched off to become Torrid, LLC.

Torrid (clothing retailer)

Torrid LLC is an American women's retail chain formerly owned by Hot Topic. While it is still owned by Sycamore Partners, owners of Hot Topic, in 2015 the company branched off to become Torrid, LLC. The store offers plus-size clothing and accessories for women size 10-30. Torrid began operations in April 2001. The first location opened in the Brea Mall in Brea, California. As of 2016, Torrid has over 400 stores in operation across 36 states in the United States. Torrid opened its first store location in Canada (Toronto) in August 2015.

Plus size clothing is clothing proportioned specifically for people whose bodies are larger than the average person's. The application of the term varies from country to country, and according to which industry the person is involved in.

In 2008, Hot Topic launched ShockHound, an online retailer and social networking music site. [9] In March 2011, Hot Topic made a public statement announcing the shutdown of ShockHound. The site is no longer live, all merchandise was moved to HotTopic.com, and the company ceased sales of MP3s. [10]

In August 2010, Hot Topic opened two new stores in Canada, which also marked the chain's first two international outlets. The first store opened on August 11 at Square One Shopping Centre in Mississauga, Ontario, and then at Scarborough Town Centre in Toronto, Ontario the following day. [11] The company has since also opened additional Canadian locations as well as locations in Puerto Rico.

In 2012, Hot Topic launched Blackheart Lingerie, a concept store that sells lingerie and clothing for women. [12]

On May 26, 2015, Hot Topic announced its intent to acquire Geeknet Inc., owner of the online retailer ThinkGeek, for $122 million. However, the company received a $140 million counter-offer from GameStop, which Hot Topic did not choose to exceed. [13] [14] [15] [16]

On October 14, 2015, Hot Topic launched BoxLunch, a gift and novelty retail store. [17] For every $10 spent, a meal is donated to a person in need. [18]

Tour sponsorship

The company sponsored the 2004 Ozzfest concert tour, [19] the 2005 through 2007 Sounds of the Underground tour, [20] the 2008 Taste of Chaos tour, [21] and had a stage at and sponsored the 2008 and 2009 Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival tours. The company went on to sponsor Black Veil Brides 2014 Black Mass tour with special guests Falling in Reverse. [22]

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Best Buy Consumer electronics retailer

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ThinkGeek is an American retailer that caters to computer enthusiasts and "geek culture". Described as a "Sharper Image for sysadmins", their merchandise, has also been likened to "toys for adults, novelties designed to appeal to both your inner child and your inner grad student." These include clothing, electronic and scientific gadgets, unusual computer peripherals, office toys, pet toys, child toys, and caffeinated drinks and candy. ThinkGeek was founded in 1999, is based in Fairfax, Virginia, and is owned by Geeknet, a unit of GameStop.

Claire's, formerly known as Claire's Accessories, is an American retailer of accessories, jewelry, and toys primarily aimed toward girls, tweens and teens. It was founded in 1961 and is based in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago.

American Eagle Outfitters retailer based in the United States

American Eagle Outfitters, Inc., now known as simply American Eagle, is an American lifestyle clothing and accessories retailer, headquartered in the Southside Works Neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It was founded in 1977 by brothers Jerry and Mark Silverman as a subsidiary of Retail Ventures, Inc., a company which also owned and operated Silverman's Menswear. The Silvermans sold their ownership interests in 1991 to Jacob Price of Knoxville, Tennessee. American Eagle Outfitters is also the parent company of Aerie.

Disney Store company

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Williams-Sonoma American kitchenware and home furnishings retailer

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Caldor, Inc. was a discount department store chain founded in 1951 by husband and wife Carl and Dorothy Bennett. Referred to by many as the Bloomingdale's of discounting, Caldor grew from a second story "Walk-Up-&-Save" operation in Port Chester, NY into a regional retailing giant. Its stores were earning over $1 billion in sales by the time Mr. Bennett retired in 1985, by which time Caldor was a subsidiary of Associated Dry Goods.

The Buckle, Inc. is an American fashion retailer selling clothing, footwear, and accessories for men, women, and children. The company operates over 465 stores in 44 states throughout the United States of America, under the names Buckle and The Buckle. Buckle markets brand name and private label apparel, including denim, other casual bottoms, tops and shirts, dresses and rompers, sportswear and athleisure, outerwear, footwear, swimwear, fragrances, sunglasses, bags and purses, wallets, and other accessories.

Bebe Stores, Inc. is a women's retail brand that was established in 1976. The brand develops and produces a line of women's apparel, accessories, and perfume fragrances, which it markets under the "bebe" or "Bebe Sport" or "Bebe Outlet" names.

Jacob (clothing retailer)

Jacob is a private five store Canadian chain of women's and girls' clothing store chain based out of Montreal, Quebec. At its peak, Jacob once had over 200 stores all over Canada, usually in malls. In addition to its main brand Jacob, the company operated under the banners Jacob Connexion, Jacob Lingerie, Josef and Danz.

Ascena Retail Group

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Champs Sports

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Deb Shops is a catalog and online retailer, formerly a specialty retail chain store in the United States that sold women's clothing and accessories under its own private labels as well as other labels. The company was based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and principally served junior and plus-sized women in their early teens through their late twenties. At its peak, Deb Shops operated 337 stores across 42 states. They have moved to become exclusively a plus-size store.

ShockHound was an online music download site, retail store and social networking platform launched by Hot Topic in 2008. ShockHound music files were available for download in the MP3 format, making them compatible with most digital music players, and free from digital rights management (DRM) software restrictions. Randy Bookasta and Dan Epstein were contributing content editors.

Aerie (American Eagle Outfitters)

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Adore Me is a women’s intimates company based in New York City. The company manufactures and sells lingerie, sleepwear, swimwear, activewear, and other products. The brand offers inclusive intimates in sizes ranging from petite to plus. Like many online retailers, Adore Me is opening retails stores, unveiling plans to open up to 300 stores. The company was started by Morgan Hermand-Waiche in his days as an MBA student at Harvard Business School.

The Michaels Companies

The Michaels Companies, Inc. is North America's largest provider of arts, crafts, framing, floral & wall décor, and merchandise for makers and do-it-yourself home decorators. The company owns and operates more than 1,250 Michaels stores, Aaron Brothers Custom Framing store-within-a-store, Artistree - a manufacturer of high quality custom and specialty framing merchandise; and Darice, a wholesale distributor to the craft, gift, and décor industry.

References

  1. "Investor Relations". investorrelations.hottopic.com.
  2. 1 2 3 Hot Topic (HOTT) annual SEC income statement filing via Wikinvest
  3. 1 2 Hot Topic (HOTT) annual SEC balance sheet filing via Wikinvest
  4. 1 2 "Hot Topic Annual Report 2007" (PDF). Hot Topic, Inc. 2008-04-28. Retrieved 2008-12-09.
  5. "NOVEMBER, 1989 // First store opens in Montclair, CA – and we move our headquarters into the store's backroom. - The History of Hot Topic". history.hottopic.com.
  6. Merced, Michael J. de la. "Sycamore Partners to Buy Hot Topic for $600 Million". DealBook.
  7. "1995 // Tripp, Kikwear, and UFO pants are bigger than ever. - The History of Hot Topic". history.hottopic.com.
  8. Harris, Lynn (April 6, 2005). "Living large". Salon . Retrieved February 26, 2014.
  9. "HOT TOPIC, INC. LAUNCHES SHOCKHOUND, NEW ALL-IN-ONE MUSIC SITE - UMG". 28 October 2008.
  10. "Hot Topic, Inc. Announces 2011 Changes Including ShockHound Closure". www.businesswire.com.
  11. "Hot Topic to open shops in Canada". Financialpost.com. 2010-06-21. Retrieved 2014-02-26.
  12. Misener, Jessica (2012-11-01). "Hot Topic Launching 'Blackheart' Lingerie Line For The Romantic Mall-Goth In You". The Huffington Post . Retrieved 2014-07-16.
  13. "Geeknet Gives Hot Topic Three Days to Match Higher Offer". Bloomberg. Retrieved 30 May 2015.
  14. "Hot Topic to Buy Retailer Geeknet Inc". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
  15. "Geeknet Calls New Takeover Offer Superior to Hot Topic's Bid". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 30 May 2015.
  16. "GameStop outbids Hot Topic for ThinkGeek parent company purchase". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  17. "New BoxLunch Stores To Carry Pop! Vinyls". Pop Vinyls. 2015-10-14.
  18. "BoxLunch". BoxLunch.
  19. Ratliff, B (2004-07-16). "Rock Review: Ozzfest Trudges On, Laden With Sponsors and Politics". The New York Times . Retrieved 2008-12-09.
  20. "Official Website". Sounds of the Underground. Archived from the original on 2016-01-22. Retrieved 2008-12-09.
  21. Peters, M (2007-12-20). "Avenged Sevenfold, Atreyu Set For Taste Of Chaos". Billboard .
  22. http://www.rockstar69.com/event.php?evt=53 Archived February 12, 2008, at the Wayback Machine