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 the second quarter of 2000 (13 weeks ended July 29, 2000) increased 58 percent to $51,717,000, from net sales of $32,779,000, for the second quarter of 1999.

Same store sales increased by 21.8 percent compared with the second quarter of last year. Last year, the same store sales in the second quarter increased by 16.9 percent. The company has had six consecutive quarters of double digit comparable store sales increases.

Net sales for fiscal July 2000 (four weeks ended July 29, 2000) increased 55 per cent to $17,418,000, from net sales of $11,220,000, for fiscal July 1999. Same store sales increased by 19.7 per cent compared with July 1999. Last year, July same store sales increased by 15.7 per cent. Eight new stores were opened during fiscal July 2000.

Net sales for the first half of fiscal 2000 (26 weeks ended July 29, 2000) increased 58 percent to $96,556,000, from net sales of $61,065,000, for the first half of fiscal 1999. Same store sales increased by 22.9 percent compared with the first half of last year.

Last year, the first half same store sales increased by 16.2 per cent. The company operated 247 stores at the end of July 2000, an increase of 63 stores over the 184 stores open at the end of July 1999.

Betsy McLaughlin, president, said: "Our sales momentum continued in July with all major merchandise categories and all geographic regions producing strong per store increases over last year. As in the prior year, our stores received a substantial portion of the back-to-school merchandise assortment in July. Sales in stores with early back-to-school dates have been strong.

"Our promotional activity has been very low and our inventory is on plan and well positioned for the season."

Orv Madden, chief executive officer, added: "In July, we opened eight new stores, bringing the year-to-date openings to 35 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 247 stores in 44 states throughout the United States and an Internet store at www.hottopic.com.