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Hot Topic declares July Comp store sales drop 7.2%

Aug '06
Hot Topic Inc announced the following sales results for its fiscal month of July and the second quarter (four weeks, and thirteen weeks, respectively, ended July 29, 2006):

Hot Topic Inc also announced that as a result of lower than expected sales, the company currently estimates that the second quarter net loss will be in the range of $0.02 to $0.03 per diluted share.

Betsy McLaughlin, Chief Executive Officer, said, "During the first two weeks of July, we experienced comp store sales roughly flat to a year ago. During the last half of the month, we experienced a significant drop in traffic and comparable sales. Approximately one-third of the total company comp miss can be attributed to Florida and a very disappointing 'sales tax free event' relative to a year ago."

"Approximately one-third was a result of our plan to be less promotional this year than we were last year. The remaining third was a result of less traffic. We believe our back-to-school assortment, especially our men's and women's fashion statements, are on trend and look better than they have looked in years. However, we also believe it will take time and traffic for our customers to respond accordingly. In the meantime, our inventory is in line and our expense control initiatives are in progress."

For more detailed information on July sales results, please call 626-709-1209 to listen to a recorded commentary. Additionally, a conference call to discuss second quarter results, business trends, guidance and other matters is scheduled for August 16, 2006 at 4:30 PM (ET).

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