March 17, 2010, 12:00 AM

The web grew while store sales faltered for Hot Topic

Total revenue and comparable-store sales declined, but the e-commerce channel turned in a 30% increase for Hot Topic in 2009.

Bill Briggs

Senior Editor

Total revenue and comparable-store sales declined, but the e-commerce channel turned in a strong performance for youth apparel retailer Hot Topic Inc. in 2009.

For the year ended Jan. 30, Hot Topic, No. 211 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, reported:

  • Web sales increased year over year 30% to $59.4 million from $45.7 million.
  • Total sales decreased 3.2% to $736.7 million from $761.0 million in 2008.
  • For the year ended Jan. 30, combined comparable-store sales for the chain’s Hot Topic and Torrid brands declined 5.1%. Comparable-store sales for Hot Topic and Torrid declined 5.6% and 2.9%, respectively.
  • Net income declined 39.6% to $11.9 million from $19.7 million in 2008.

Based on Internet Retailer calculations, the web accounted for 8.1% of total sales compared with 6.0% in 2008.

Hot Topic, a multichannel retailer of rock music, pop culture and music-inspired fashion for the 12 to 22 crowd, doesn’t break out quarterly web sales. But in the fourth quarter, Hot Topic did report:

  • Total sales decreased 10.0% to $214.2 million from $238.0 million in Q4 2008.
  • Combined comparable-store sales for the chain’s Hot Topic and Torrid brands declined 11.5%. Comparable-store sales for Hot Topic declined 13.5%. Same-store sales were flat for Torrid.
  • Net income declined 43.7% to $8.0 million from $14.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2008.

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