Hot Topic To Shut ShockHound.com
Hot Topic To Shut ShockHound.com

Hot Topic Inc will discontinue ShockHound.com, its website that sells music merchandise and MP3s, and said Amy Kocoureke, the merchandising chief of its namesake division, left the company as it overhauls its business.

The changes kick off the reign of new Chief Executive Lisa Harper, who took over at the helm last week. She will now directly oversee merchandising as the company looks to reinvigorate sales at its core Hot Topic division.

The company, which has underperformed its peers as its merchandise has failed to lure shoppers, also said it will write down unproductive inventory and non-core fixed assets.

Hot Topic expects a pre-tax charge of about 21 cents per share primarily in the first quarter from the write downs, discontinuing the website, as well as severance costs related to its former CEO Betsy McLaughlin's departure.

Hot Topic, which sells licensed band and movie T-shirts and accessories, also forecast a first-quarter loss of 1-4 cents a share, excluding items, on a low-single-digit decline in same-store sales. Wall Street was expecting a loss of 3 cents according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Shares of the San Jose, California-based company that caters primarily to teenagers, closed at $5.95 on Monday on Nasdaq.

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