Granted, Hot Topic's same-store sales decline of 7.1% was better than the 7.6% drop analysts anticipated for a month when wearing black isn't very appealing in most parts of the country. (Of course, some of us soldier on.) That's small comfort to investors in this once-hot stock. I've always had a soft spot for it myself, given my own goth-y teenage years and continued fondness for wearing mostly black. All the same, the irony of a mall-based retailer supposedly spreading "noncomformity" isn't lost on me.
Hot Topic's recent troubles have been well-documented, up through its recent earnings report. Today's news isn't exactly surprising, but it's likely a big disappointment to many investors, even with lowered expectations for August's back-to-school sales. Honestly, though, how many parents these days are willing to shell out for band-related tee shirts, dresses from Morbid Threads, or body jewelry for back-to-school?
When Fool contributor Dan Bloom covered Hot Topic's earnings last week, he pointed out that Hot Topic's new chief merchandise officer could help the company recover from its period of malaise. I'd be curious to see whether Hot Topic alters its path, given its recent trying times.
If I try really hard, I can think of some upcoming catalysts. First off, well, hey, summer's over -- broiling heat doesn't exactly mix well with black. From what I understand, this fall, the new black is, well, black, for those kids who briefly defected to preppy colors. And hey, Tim Burton's flick Corpse Bride is coming out next month, which sounds about as goth as it gets.
All joking aside, I hesitate to make predictions about Hot Topic's future. Despite its troubles, the stock still manages to trade at a P/E of 18. If I had to hazard a guess, I'd say Hot Topic may take a while before it heats up again.
These Fool fashion takes are, like, so totally retro:
- Hey, it looks like back-to-school shopping hasn't been canceled this year.
(NYSE:ARO)has some extra baggage.
- Fools duel over Abercrombie
Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned.