Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

A Hot New Moon

June 3, 2009

By Nivedita Bhattacharjee 
twilight-best-kiss-awardAs Bella and Edward move ahead, Hot Topic is all set to move with them.
After cashing in on Twilight’s success, Hot Topic has snapped up an exclusive deal for New Moon, the much awaited movie sequel to the star-crossed vampire romance.
And in good time too.


Priced at $22, the New Moon T-shirts might just be Hot Topic’s trump card for the season, and it looks like the retailer is leaving nothing to chance when it comes to promoting them. 
Ads for the T-shirts hold top spots on its website.  The company has also been sending out promotional emails to leverage interest in the items, available months ahead of the movie’s Nov. 20 release.
Pali Research analyst Amy Noblin received one such mailer, and says this unexpected arrival could benefit June sales results for the company. 
Hot Topic had boasted of a solid performance for months on end, but forecast a second-quarter loss, saying fewer people visited its stores after Easter.
The usually fashion-savvy company seems to have run into some trouble inventory-wise — its neon-bright jeans aren’t selling too well, and its super-successful Twilight merchandise lost some sheen over the months.


While most analysts, including Pali’s Noblin, are still upbeat on the company, one confessed in a research note to have “underestimated the impact of the Twilight franchise on the company’s overall business.”  Yes, it seems the lure of the vampire caught even FBR Capital Markets’ Adrienne Tennant a little by surprise.
And Noblin says Hot Topic will need the new merchandise to match tough comparisons driven by Twilight.
When that is the case, will New Moon make Hot Topic stores shine bright?


(Reuters photo)

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