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Hot Topic CEO: ‘Hunger Games’ Part of Strategy

Tuesday, 27 Mar 2012 | 6:06 PM ET

The Hunger Games” topped the box office — and it also meant a boost for teen retailer Hot Topic, CEO Lisa Harper said Tuesday.

“What’s great about the ‘Hunger Games’ business for us is that it’s incremental to our core improvement in the business,” she said on “Fast Money.”

'Hunger Games' Boosts Hot Topic Sales
Lisa Harper, Hot Topic chairman & CEO, discusses the company's big sales boost with its line of "Hunger Games" merchandise, and the best plays off the film, with the Fast Money traders.

Harper said the new dystopian teen saga was not as big as “Twilight” but nonetheless represented “a very powerful brand and a very powerful property for us.”

Part 1 of the trilogy earned $214 million worldwide and $155 million in the U.S. and Canada on its opening weekend.

Shares of Hot Topic increased 76.1 percent year over year, or 56.3 percent year to date.

The stock closed at $10.32, down 1.2 percent.

“We’ve turned around the business and we’ve stabilized it so that we are able to actually capitalize on our core business,” Harper said. “‘The Hunger Games’ is incremental to that.”

Sales are expected to remain strong for the next month, with the teen movie providing a “stronger-than-normal tail to the business,” and another bump for Halloween, she said.

Harper also said the company had repositioned itself from the “tween” market — the preadolescent consumer — to a slightly older demographic.

“We think that by going to an 18-year-old, we cast a broader net and bring in a larger range of potential customers,” she said.

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Trader disclosure: On March 27, 2012, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s "Fast Money" were owned by the "Fast Money" traders: Tim Seymour is long AAPL; Tim Seymour is long BAC; Tim Seymour is long INTC; Tim Seymour is long CSCO; Tim Seymour is long FCX; Dan Nathan is long AAPL JAN 13 450/400/350 PUTS; Dan Nathan is long BAC MAY 7/5 PUTS; Dan Nathan is long INTC; Dan Nathan is long IBM; Dan Nathan is long WMT APR 60/57.5 PUT SPREAD; Dan Nathan is long RIMM MARCH/MAY 15 PUT SPREAD; Dan Nathan is long IBM APRIL 205/200 PUT SPREAD; Dan Nathan is long SPY MARCH 130/R5 PUT SPREAD; Dan Nathan is long QQQ MARCH 66.64 PUT SPREAD; Dan Nathan is long XLK APR 29 PUTS;

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