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Hot Topic Company Logo

Working At Hot Topic

Zippia Score 4.5

Review Submitted!

Hot Topic

Hot Topic Jobs

NO RESULTS

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Hot Topic Overview

Industry

Retailing

Organization Type

Private

Employees

5,350

Headquarters

Industry, CA

Website

hottopic.com

Website

hottopic.com



Founded in

1988

Revenue

$761.0M

Key People

Orv Madden (founders),
Steve Vranes (ceo),
Orval Madden (founders),
Heather Whitehurst (Manager)

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About Hot Topic

Hot Topic is an American retail chain specializing in counterculture-related clothing and accessories, as well as licensed music. The stores are aimed towards an audience interested in rock music and video gaming, and most of their audience ranges from teens to young adults.

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Hot Topic is an American retail chain specializing in counterculture-related clothing and accessories, as well as licensed music. The stores are aimed towards an audience interested in rock music and video gaming, and most of their audience ranges from teens to young adults.

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Is This Your Company?

Do You Work At Hot Topic?

What is it like to work at Hot Topic

5.0

October 7, 2019 on Zippia

What Do You Like About Working There?

Flexibility of extra hours/early sign off days. Great atmosphere & overall fun workforce... Show More

What DON'T You Like About Working There?

None.. Show More

What Are Your Favorite Benefits/Perks?

Overtime outside of peak seasons was not frowned upon... Show More
December 31, 2009 on Reddit

Was there a required dress code? Like, "you have to look this goth-y to come to work"

No, not really. I wore a t-shirt, jeans and sneakers to work everyday. Once in awhile we'd have a big visit from regional management or someone else high up, so I'd wear a skirt and some flats or something. Some of the other girls, though I don't understand how, would wear heels and dress up all the time. My feet would have staged a coup if I tried to spend 8 hours on them in heels. And as for the goth-y part, I never considered my self goth. I think the feel of the store was gothic, but it wasn't really my thing. And truth be told, I only worked with a handful of people over the years that would have considered it their thing. The only time when they were really super concerned with what we were wearing was during Halloween. There were theme days and we were supposed to participate. But the only thing they could do if we didn't was lecture us about team moral.

I worked there as well, back in high school. Did you also get pressured into "befriending" every customer coming into the store in order to sell more merchandise? I actually got fired/was told to quit because I refused to rip people off.

Sure did. That was always my weakness at that job. I felt like we were being coached to screw people into buying as much stuff as possible and I hated that aspect of the position. I think that there is a way to sell to people that is not intrusive, but alas that is not the HT way.

Doesn't a chain store, with locations in malls just about all over the country, contradict part of what it means to be goth? I feel like people who shop there would scoff at people who shopped at GAP, even though the same company owns both stores.

It's a business. They found a market that was ignored and did really well because of it. When it started I think the vision of the company was excellent, to provide for a customer base that most stores don't care about. But now it is a store that is in search of the next big trend like every other store in the mall. Don't get me wrong, I like the store and I for the most part I liked working there. But to me it is a store and not a way of life. No one should take it super seriously.

Is it like working at Starbucks and hating Frappuccinos? "Meh I'm so cool"

Some people there have the attitude that the store sucks but it is cool to work there. I never understood that haha. I liked the store, I liked working there for the most part, and I still like it even though I don't work there anymore. however, no longer having the discount deters me from buying stuff there now for the most part.

I saw a shirt there once that said "I hate preps". Do most of the people there hate preps, or just a few? Because if for some reason I go in to that store, I am usually carrying a bag from a store that might be considered "preppy". Now, I'm not necessarily asking out of a concern for safety because I know if anything were to happen I could easily take any of the kids I've seen in there. The real question is, why do Hot Topic kids hate preps? We're people too, you know.

That's really not true, of the employees at least. One of the girls I worked with also worked at Hollister. So, there's that. As for the kids? Who gives a *** about them, they're kids. And in regards to the store selling the shirt, I can't speak to the motivations because it wasn't offered while I was employed there. But my best guess would be they were catering to the goth kids who think they hate preps but actually don't because they were preps last year before they discovered black hair dye.

Did you have one creepy hyper-religious guy working there? Every Hot Topic I've ever visited has one creepy religious dude. Which makes one. But still, I wondered if that was some kind of trend, since the one guy seemed pretty comfortable there.

I don't think I would call him hyper-religious, but he was definitely into the big G. Hot Topic is a pretty tolerant place. They have to be because of the type of customer they cater to. The store doesn't sell any Satanic, drug or alcohol related merchandise. They are family friendly goth.

Sounds like fun, actually. an ex flame of mine worked there for years! A few questions - how often did you get hit on by creepy loser highschool goths? (my "ex" had little emo kids after him 24/7) - What is the funniest conversation you have overheard/funniest conversation exchange you have had? - What were the other employees like? - Was the hiring discriminatory? I assume they look for people who fit that "image". - I may be applying there soon. Would you recommend me? - Who was the coolest person you ever met there? - Who was the lamest reguar/group of regulars? - Were there any perks to the job? I know you get a pretty sick discount, but did you ever get free music samples or anything?

how often did you get hit on by creepy loser highschool goths? - Not very often, honestly. It was usually the nerds because I love Star Wars and I usually had on something Star Wars related. The employees are pretty good about looking out for each other, so if they noticed I was being hit on by a customer they'd come over and send me to do something like get shoes out of the back room. Was the hiring discriminatory? - No, because people that apply generally want to work there because they are in to the crap that the store sells so they'll prance around in the merch and fold t-shirts to their hearts delight. Would you recommend me? - I don't know you, so how could I recommend you? Also, you probably don't want my recommendation because I burned my bridges there haha. Who was the coolest person you ever met there? - I can't think of anyone specific. There were people I worked with that were pretty cool. And there were a lot of repeat customers that were neat. There was a dad and daughter that shopped at my store pretty regularly and they were nice people. The daughter was in and out of mental hospitals but she was as sweet as pie. I think about her a lot and hope she is doing well. She was pretty depressed a lot of the time but her father talked about how much she loved the store and the staff so we all tried to make her shopping experiences extra special when she came in. Who was the lamest reguar/group of regulars? - The high school kids. All of them. Were there any perks to the job? I know you get a pretty sick discount, but did you ever get free music samples or anything? - Yeah we'd get whatever they were giving out to the customers. Sample CDs and DVDs. For me the best perk was getting to hear new music before it came out. We had a player and usually bands would hook the company up and let them put their new albums on the player before they came out.

I would imagine by looking at the staff, they're pretty lax when it comes to hiring...does any kinky stuff go on between employees? PS: they always play good music when i'm in there

It's pretty difficult to get a job there, actually. Tons of people apply. But, they won't look down on you if you have body mods, so they are lax in that respect. No shenanigans went on while I was there. The company has a policy forbidding employee interaction outside of the workplace unless everyone that works at that particular location is invited. For instance, if the store manager is having a party and he or she wants to include employees, everyone has to be invited for it to be legit. He or she can't hand pick employees to invite or they risk getting in some hot water if anyone higher than them in the food chain finds out. So because of this reason, the sexy time is kept to a minimum for the most part. Although what ends up happening is romances between employees that work in different locations. The store manager of the first location I worked at was dating the manager of another store in our district. This is a-okay with corporate.
December 29, 2009 on Reddit

Do you think they could make the stores bigger and still profit?

When you say bigger do you mean as in physical size of the stores, or number of locations? Location wise, I think the market is pretty saturated. They are everywhere, it seems like. If you meant physical size, maybe a little bigger but not by much. I don't think Hot Topic the department store would do well. They have a pretty good customer base, but I don't think it is large enough to support bigger stores that have a large variety of merchandise. Hot Topic sells trends and a lot of the time they are behind the trend. It can take a good six months to take a new trend, say distressed t-shirts, and get them into the stores. A lot of the time new merchandise crashes and burns a slow death on the clearance rack because by the time it showed up at HT, people were over it.
December 29, 2009 on Reddit

What do you think was the age of the oldest customer buying stuff for themselves was?

Parents that didn't think the store was evil would come to shop for their kids and usually end up finding something they liked too. We sold a lot of classic rock tees and Beatles stuff to people in their 40s and 50s.

Is there a facial-piercing minimum number to work there? Kidding (I think). But in all seriousness, what was the craziest customer interaction you ever had?

Haha no, there wasn't a minimum number of facial piercings required. I personally had two though. And most of the people I worked with had them. Most customers asked that same question haha. :) There were several crazy people that shopped at the store on a regular basis. One man spent a good 15 minutes yelling at me about how zombies could never exist after seeing the cover of a Fangoria magazine we had in stock with a George Romero zombie on it. Lots of parents came in demanding refunds for whatever their kids bought or the gift card they received because they thought the store was evil. Tons of people came in drunk and/or high. And smelly. Hot Topic attracts the smelly kids like you wouldn't believe. If you shop there, make sure you wash what you buy before you wear it. When some kid smelled up a Resident Evil shirt while coveting it in the fitting room, all I could do was Febreeze it and hope for the best. And every employee of the store has stalkers. The kids find you online and friend request you until you accept. And then they spend their weekends in the store trying to talk to you while you are trying to work. So basically, the customers in general are crazy.

Hot Topic Employees

  • -
    Diversity Score
We calculated the diversity score of companies by measuring multiple factors, including the ethnic background, gender identity, and language skills of their workforce.

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Anonymously rate Hot Topic as an employer

Gender

Female

53.1%

Male

37.7%

Unknown

9.2%
Ethnicity

White

60.7%

Hispanic or Latino

20.1%

Black or African American

9.8%

Asian

5.8%

Unknown

3.6%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

69.1%

French

6.3%

Japanese

5.9%

German

5.1%

Mandarin

1.8%

Russian

1.8%

Chinese

1.5%

Italian

1.1%

Arabic

1.1%

Vietnamese

0.7%

Dutch

0.7%

Korean

0.7%

Malay

0.7%

Armenian

0.7%

Portuguese

0.7%

Swedish

0.4%

Hindi

0.4%

Indonesian

0.4%

Finnish

0.4%

Bosnian

0.4%
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Anonymously rate Hot Topic as an employer

Hot Topic Careers

Average Length of Employment
Foot Locker 2.4 years
Dressbarn 2.3 years
Pier 1 Imports 2.0 years
SHOE SHOW 1.9 years
Cato Corporation 1.9 years
Sunglass Hut 1.8 years
Spencer Gifts 1.7 years
maurices 1.6 years
GNC 1.6 years

Hot Topic

1.6 years
New York & Company 1.5 years
Aeropostale 1.4 years
Zumiez 1.2 years
Charlotte Russe 1.2 years
Torrid 1.1 years
Forever 21 1.1 years
Tillys 1.1 years
Charming Charlie 1.0 years
Top Employers Before Hot Topic
Walmart 12.0%
McDonald's 11.3%
GameStop 6.8%
Target 6.6%
Subway 5.4%
Best Buy 4.8%
Starbucks 4.8%
Macy's 4.1%
Old Navy 3.9%
Zumiez 3.9%
Kohl's 3.5%
Taco Bell 3.2%
Pizza Hut 3.0%
Kroger 3.0%
Forever 21 3.0%
Top Employers After Hot Topic
Walmart 11.6%
Target 9.7%
GameStop 7.5%
Starbucks 7.2%
Zumiez 5.4%
Amazon 4.8%
McDonald's 4.4%
Macy's 4.4%
Best Buy 4.3%
Subway 4.1%
Forever 21 3.9%
Lowe's 3.4%
Kohl's 3.3%
Vans 3.0%

Hot Topic Employees Education

Schools

Middle Tennessee State University

11.7%

University of Phoenix

11.0%

The Academy

6.5%

Full Sail University

5.9%

Mt San Antonio College

5.9%

Northern Virginia Community College

5.6%

College of Southern Nevada

5.2%

Western Washington University

4.7%

Pasadena City College

4.3%

University of North Texas

4.3%

Texas State University

3.8%

Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising

3.6%

Glendale Community College

3.6%

Savannah College of Art and Design

3.6%

San Antonio College

3.6%

Nashville State Community College

3.4%

Columbia College Chicago

3.4%

Miami Dade College

3.4%

Salt Lake Community College

3.4%

Rio Hondo College

3.2%
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Majors

Business

16.0%

Psychology

9.4%

Graphic Design

8.6%

Cosmetology

6.5%

General Studies

5.8%

Fine Arts

5.4%

Communication

5.1%

Criminal Justice

4.9%

Liberal Arts

4.7%

English

4.4%

Photography

4.3%

Medical Assisting Services

3.7%

Nursing

3.0%

Marketing

2.9%

Music

2.9%

Management

2.8%

Computer Science

2.7%

Biology

2.4%

Health Care Administration

2.3%

Education

2.3%
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Degrees

Other

39.7%

Bachelors

31.3%

Associate

18.0%

Certificate

4.2%

Masters

3.7%

Diploma

1.6%

License

1.2%

Doctorate

0.3%
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How Would You Rate Working At Hot Topic?

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Hot Topic Salaries

Information Technology DirectorIndustry, CA $170,067
Information Technology DirectorIndustry, CA $159,390
Director Of DistributionLa Vergne, TN $155,000
Information Technology DirectorIndustry, CA $150,000
Software Development ManagerIndustry, CA $145,000
Information Systems SupervisorIndustry, CA $143,605
Programmer/Analyst LeadIndustry, CA $135,102
Lead TechnicianIndustry, CA $130,000
Business Systems ManagerIndustry, CA $130,000
Lead System AnalystIndustry, CA $130,000
Programmer/Analyst LeadIndustry, CA $130,000
Business AnalystIndustry, CA $127,364
Quality Assurance LeadIndustry, CA $125,000
Business AnalystIndustry, CA $125,000
Application Software DeveloperIndustry, CA $125,000
Programmer/Analyst LeadIndustry, CA $125,000
Senior Programmer AnalystIndustry, CA $123,600
Senior Programmer AnalystIndustry, CA $122,269
Business AnalystIndustry, CA $120,453
Senior Systems AnalystIndustry, CA $120,453
Lead Operations EngineerIndustry, CA $120,000
Business AnalystIndustry, CA $120,000
ManagerIndustry, CA $120,000
Business AnalystIndustry, CA $120,000
Senior Programmer AnalystIndustry, CA $120,000
Senior Programmer AnalystIndustry, CA $115,000
Senior Programmer AnalystIndustry, CA $115,000
Computer Systems AnalystIndustry, CA $115,000
Programmer/Analyst LeadIndustry, CA $111,265
Systems EngineerIndustry, CA $110,000
Business AnalystIndustry, CA $110,000
Business AnalystIndustry, CA $110,000
Senior Programmer AnalystIndustry, CA $107,973
Senior Programmer AnalystIndustry, CA $107,973
Systems Support AnalystIndustry, CA $106,080
Operations EngineerIndustry, CA $105,000
Senior Programmer AnalystIndustry, CA $105,000
Senior Programmer AnalystIndustry, CA $105,000
Senior Systems AnalystIndustry, CA $100,000
Senior Programmer AnalystIndustry, CA $100,000
Systems Support AnalystIndustry, CA $100,000
Systems Support AnalystIndustry, CA $100,000
Web Graphic DesignerIndustry, CA $85,000
Merchandise PlannerIndustry, CA $82,000
Customer Service AnalystIndustry, CA $67,000

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Hot Topic Employment Videos

HOT TOPIC - My Werk Experience | LesleyyX1

Hot Topic Awards

Awards From Zippia
  • Best Companies To Work For In 2019
  • Best Paying Companies In 2019
  • Most Diverse Companies In 2019
  • Best Performing Companies In 2019

Hot Topic Stock Performance

  • -
    Performance Score
We calculated the performance score of companies by measuring multiple factors, including revenue, longevity, and stock market performance.

Revenue

$761.0M

Net Income

-

Market Cap

-

Total Equity

-

Total Assets

-

How Would You Rate The Company Culture Of Hot Topic?

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Hot Topic Competitors

Competitors Jobs

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Frequently Asked Questions about Hot Topic

When was Hot Topic founded?

Hot Topic was founded in 1988.

How many Employees does Hot Topic have?

Hot Topic has 5,350 employees.

How much money does Hot Topic make?

Hot Topic generates $761.0M in revenue.

What industry is Hot Topic in?

Hot Topic is in the retailing industry.

What type of company is Hot Topic?

Hot Topic is a private company.

Who are Hot Topic's competitors?

Hot Topic competitors include Tillys, Torrid, Charlotte Russe, Forever 21, maurices, Pacific Sunwear of California, Claire's Stores Inc., Zumiez, SHOE SHOW, Aeropostale, Pier 1 Imports, New York & Company, Spencer Gifts, GNC, Cato Corporation, Dressbarn, Foot Locker, Sunglass Hut, Stride Rite Childrens Group LLC, Charming Charlie.

Who works at Hot Topic?

Orv Madden (founders),
Steve Vranes (ceo),
Orval Madden (founders),
Heather Whitehurst (Manager)

Show More

Where is Hot Topic's headquarters?

Hot Topic's headquarters is in Industry, CA.

You can find out what it is like to work at Hot Topic, also known as HOT TOPIC INC, Hot Topic, Hot Topic Inc, Hot Topic Inc. and Hot Topic, Inc..

Zippia gives an in-depth look into the details of Hot Topic, including salaries, political affiliations, employee data, and more, in order to inform job seekers about Hot Topic. The employee data is based on information from people who have self-reported their past or current employments at Hot Topic. While we have made attempts to ensure that the information displayed are correct, Zippia is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. The data presented on this page does not represent the view of Hot Topic and its employees or that of Zippia.