Hot Topic Inc. (Nasdaq:HOTT) a mall-based specialty retailer of music-licensed and music-influenced apparel, accessories and gift items for teens, today announced its net sales for fiscal June 2000 (five weeks ended July 1, 2000) increased 63 percent to $19,960,000, from net sales of $12,271,000, for fiscal June 1999. Same store sales increased by 25.4 percent compared with June 1999. Last year, June same store sales increased by 12.9 percent. Seven new stores were opened during fiscal June 2000. Total sales for the first 22 weeks of fiscal 2000, ended July 1, 2000, were $79,134,000, an increase of 59 percent over sales of $49,844,000, for the same period of fiscal 1999. Same store sales increased 23.6 percent for the first 22 weeks of fiscal 2000, compared with the first 22 weeks of fiscal 1999. Betsy McLaughlin, president, said: "As we moved into summer, our sales momentum continued with all major merchandise categories producing strong per store increases over last year. Our promotional activity has been very low and our inventory is on plan and well positioned for July. "Our stores will begin to receive back-to-school merchandise over the next weeks and based on recent selling of merchandise tests, we are optimistic about sales for the back-to-school season." Orv Madden, chief executive officer, added: "In June, we opened seven new stores, bringing the year-to-date openings to 27 of the 60 new stores we are planning for fiscal 2000. New stores continue to open on schedule, with enthusiastic customer reaction and strong sales." Hot Topic is a mall-based specialty retailer of music-licensed and music-influenced apparel, accessories and gift items for young men and women principally between the ages of 12 and 22. The company currently operates 239 stores in 44 states throughout the United States and an Internet store at