CITY OF INDUSTRY, Calif. — Mall chain store Hot Topic announced that it has grown out of its punk phase and finds its past pretty embarrassing when looking back, according to a corporate press release.
“This is a brand new day for Hot Topic,” said spokesperson Lindsey Chan. “While we have been known for years as a place where pop-punks, baby goths, and posers could come and find cheap studded belts and ‘The Crow’ posters, Hot Topic no longer really feels like ‘punk’ represents us and our vibe. Frankly, we’ve put that behind us and grew up. It’s actually pretty embarrassing to think we ever thought that it was cool. Now, we’re going to sell dependable, Ariana Grande coffee mugs and maybe some Maroon 5 shirts. The singer does have all those tattoos, though.”
Arthur Weir, a store manager at one of Hot Topic’s nearly 700 stores, was surprised by the sudden shift in direction.
“I don’t know what prompted this,” Weir said while tossing a garbage bag filled with ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ merchandise into a dumpster. “One day, Hot Topic seemed all-in on being punk. They were never going to change, not for all the Honda Accords and clean living situations in the world. But now, there’s talk of having benefits that apparently include 401k matching, and they just told us that the new dress code is business casual, except on Fridays, when wacky shirts are encouraged. I guess this is just what happens when a chain store hits a certain age.”
In contrast, longtime Hot Topic customer and Orange Julius consumer Ann Balson was excited for the change.
“You know, I’m all on board,” Balson said while browsing through a selection of Cardi B shot glasses and ‘The Office’ keychains. “I’ve spent so much on Manic Panic and hoodies here, I’m thrilled to be able to change things up while still maintaining brand loyalty. When Hot Topic was a store catering to the loosest definition of punk, I was there for the Sid Vicious T-shirts and skinny jeans. But now, I could just really go for some ‘Little Mermaid’ loafers.”
As of press time, Hot Topic had issued another release detailing the official company position on estate tax reform.