Specialty retailer of music-licensed and music-influenced apparel, Hot Topic Inc, on Wednesday reduced its sales and earnings forecasts for the second and third quarters amid a slide in sales.

The California-based operator of 400 stores said it now expects total July sales to be below its original expectation of a low single-digit increase and expects same-store sales for the month to fall by 3-4 per cent compared to the year ago period.

The firm said in a press release that month-to-date same-store sales through July 29 fell around two per cent and does not expect August same-store sales to meet its prior guidance based on early back-to-school sales reports.

It said it now expects second quarter sales of $92 million and earnings of 13-15 cents a share, with third quarter earnings of 27-29 cents per share.

President and CEO, Betsy McLaughlin, president and Chief Executive Officer, commented: "While sales in women's, rock-tees, music and many accessory categories continue to comp positively, the men's business, both tops and bottoms, has been very disappointing.

”"In the absence of a clear men's trend, coupled with the historically significant contribution of men's during the back-to-school period, we are also revising our original earnings expectations for the third quarter."