Previously, we brought you part one of our list of 15 interesting facts about Hot Topic. Now, we bring you eight more facts about the popular retail outlet, known for their punk styles, band t-shirts, and fandom-related paraphernalia.
Number Eight: Their Stores Were Once Protested by Religious Fanatics
Because of Hot Topic’s penchant for all things rock ‘n’ roll, goth and punk, there were many people who believed the chain’s stores were “possessed.” Rumors swirled that there was bloodletting going on in their back rooms and that some of their employees were vampires. It all came to a head in 1997 when a few religious fanatics started waving bibles and leaving literature in front of the stores.
Number Seven: Hot Topic Has Sponsored Music Tours
The brand has been represented at Ozzfest, Taste of Chaos, and Sounds of the Underground. In 2008 and 2009, they sponsored an entire stage at Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival. Surprisingly, they have never sponsored Warped Tour.
Number Six: They Have Been Mentioned in Songs and on TV
Having been around for more than 25 years, Hot Topic has become a part of mainstream culture and as such the name has made its way into songs and TV plot lines. The store has name dropped in songs by Bowling for Soup (“Punk Rock 101”) and MC Lars (“Hot Topic is Not Punk Rock”). On the shows South Park, the main characters burn down a Hot Topic.
Number Five: They Were a Publicly Traded Company
Starting in 1996, Hot Topic became an investable entity on NASDAQ. However, in 2013, the company was bought by the private equity firm Sycamore Partners, who also own women’s clothing store Talbots, for $600 Million.
Number Four: They Have Had Famous Employees
As Hot Topic is a place where punk kids can be punk kids, a number of kids in punk bands have worked at the store in the past. Most notably, Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance worked at a location in New Jersey. Other employees have gone on to form bands such as Sleeping with Sirens, Motion City Soundtrack, Chiodos, Atreyu, Memphis May Fire and more.
Number Three: Hot Topic is a Good Place to Work
Though not on the list now, Hot Topic was ranked number 20 on Fortune’s list of the 100 best companies to work for in 2005. They remained on the list in 2006 but dropped to number 53.
Number Two: They Went Through a Few Logos
When they opened their first store, their logo was actually green. In 1996, the whole store got a makeover, with the doors being replaced by gates and the store’s name in silver and red scratched font. Since then the logo has changed again, this time to a more straightforward gunplay font.
Number One: They Were Parodied by ‘Mad Magazine’
Hot Topic received the honor of being parodied by the joke magazine in 2007. The feature was called the “Not So Hot Topic Catalog,” and featured over-exaggerated versions of items the store sells. Thank you for reading our list of 15 interesting facts about Hot Topic. We hope you enjoyed it!