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Hot Topic Restructures

Teen retailer Hot Topic announced changes to its business structure and executive staff to better position the company for growth.The company announced that Amy Kocourek, chief merchandising officer of HotTopic, has left the company effective Mar. 28. Fol

Teen retailer Hot Topic announced changes to its business structure and executive staff to better position the company for growth.

The company announced that Amy Kocourek, chief merchandising officer of HotTopic, has left the company effective Mar. 28. Following Kocourek’s departure, Lisa Harper, chief executive officer, will assume direct oversight for Hot Topic merchandising.

Harper accepted the position of chief executive officer March 21, 2011, the same day that Betsy McLaughlin resigned from that position and from the company's board of directors.

Structural changes at Hot Topic include:

  • Discontinuation of the business operations at ShockHound.com, its website that sells MP3s and music merchandise.
  • Write down of unproductive inventory unnecessary assets.

Hot Topic estimates that these changes, including severance packages, will result in a loss of approximately $15 million, or 21 cents per share. The company anticipates this loss to fall primarily within the first quarter of this fiscal year, which ends April 30.

The company issued first quarter guidance of a loss in the range of one to four cents per share, excluding the costs associated with the above changes and based on a low-single-digit decline in comparable store sales.

The company also announced full-year guidance of earnings per diluted share of five to 15 cents, excluding the costs associated with the above changes. Estimates for this year’s capital expenditures will be approximately $25 million.
The company also announced the discontinuation of monthly sales reporting, effective in the third quarter of this year.

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