Hot Topic CEO: ‘Hunger Games’ Part of Strategy

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.”

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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