Teen apparel retailer Hot Topic is testing the lingerie market with the launch of five mall-based stores ahead of the holiday season under the Blackheart banner.

The new Blackheart line, which features bras, corsets, hosiery, sleepwear, accessories and beauty products, targets young women aged between 18 and 30. It will be available from the new stores in Southern California and Texas as well as online from 15 November.

The retailer said the concept will test the viability of expanding the existing Hot Topic customer base.

"The Blackheart lingerie concept is a test that allows us to leverage the Hot Topic customer and offer her product categories that will not cannibalise the core Hot Topic brand," said CEO and chairman Lisa Harper.

She added: "We have a great opportunity to aggressively cross-promote Blackheart to our 5m active database customers, nearly 5m Facebook fans and in our 620 Hot Topic stores."

Hot Topic last week said its third-quarter comparable sales climbed 0.2%, while net sales rose 2% to US$179.3m during the 13 weeks ended 27 October.