This welcome break from never-ending economic doom and gloom is brought to you by Twilight, the movie responsible for boosting Hot Topic's sales 11.4 percent in the third quarter. What? Yes. Twilight merchandise has saved Hot Topic from bloody retail death in the economic downturn. Just look at the numbers:
The mall-based retailer’s comparable-store sales were negative from the second quarter of 2005 until October 2008. They have risen each month since then, increasing 6.5 percent in November, 4.3 percent in December, 6 percent in January and 10.8 percent last month.
The movie came out November 21, which means Hot Topic cashed in on the prerelease hype, a period of time we never will understand or miss. Even though sales have been increasing month to month, Hot Topic is anticipating the day they start to flag as the popularity of Twilight merchandise fades. Chief executive officer Betsy McLaughlin says this is inevitable and she's "not sure there will be a next ‘Twilight.'" Except she's totally wrong, because there will be a next Twilight — you know, a sequel — and there's nothing any of us can do to stop it. So rather than waste time coming up with complicated music-driven sales strategies that are doomed to fail, why not just hype the sequel and then the next sequel and the next sequel and never let it die? Pretty soon we bloggers might forget about the Perez Hilton Hot Topic line, otherwise known as the most embarrassing fauxlebrity-clothing-line launch in the history of clothing lines. Now, it would amuse us greatly if you Hot Topic execs would put on your Twilight T-shirts and go running through Saks popping bottles of Dom and screaming, with hundred-dollar bills flapping out of your pockets.