Today as I was filling out summer job applications, I went to the Hot Topic career page (don't judge me, alright?) and found this little gem, their self-description:
Ah, yes, what could possibly be more edgy and rebellious than pop-culture?
I remember, once upon an internet, a rumor being spread around that the CEO of Hot Topic had issued a statement that they would like to return Hot Topic to it's former spooky glory. I was initially skeptical of this sentiment, and even more so when couldn't find a source to uphold it. Why? It doesn't make any sense in the slightest.
I'm not an economist (my senior year AP Economics teacher would probably attest to this), but even I'm aware that the basis for any business is to make money. So, Hot Topic has to do what would make it money. Returning to its roots as the angst-filled proto-Goth store would be bad for business because it narrows the possible appeal, especially when a recession has drastically lessened the spending power of teens and young adults.
So the store is filled with edgy and rebellious Adventure Time shirts and My Little Pony nail polishes, but not much for spooksters. Or, is there? I tend to avoid Hot Topic's jewelry and regular clothing items, but one thing that Hot Topic is and has always been good at are t-shirts. Slightly on the expensive side, but in a wide variety of styles, some of them very gothy. Here are some that are available right now:
Dracula, Frankenstein, The Lost Boys, and The Crow? I'm on board with that.
So basically, what this tiny, rambling post is saying is that Hot Topic is doing its best to stay afloat as a business and there's no use crying into a tub of Ben&Jerrys about how Hot Topic dumped us. There's still stuff there that would work for Goths. How about a ouija board sticker, or a pair of jeans wth corset lacing up the front, Demonia boots, or a bird skull necklace? It's just that they've expanded their horizons to ensure that they exist at all. And I say that's their right as a business.
Besides, it's not like most Goth's complaints about Hot Topic aren't without the caveat that you shouldn't shop there anyway, though, because you need to thrift EVERY THING THAT YOU OWN AND DIY THE REST OR SO HELP ME I WILL STUD YOUR FACE. There's some truth to this, but not a lot. If you want to avoid looking like everyone else and cultivate some rocking DIY skills, avoid Hot Topic if you can. But if you go into Hot Topic and see something you like and want to buy it, don't avoid it because Hot Topic isn't Goth enough. That's just silly. And you're going to miss out on t-shirts with Bela Lugosi's face on them.
What do you all think about Hot Topic?